Chancellor holds out hope on fuel duty

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Freight transport leaders have welcomed a suggestion from Chancellor George Osborne that he might be prepared to look again at plans to increase fuel duty.

Osborne made the comments in a BBC interview saying that plans made by the previous Chancellor, Alistair Darling to increase fuel duty by 1p per litre, in addition to inflation, on 1st April could be addressed.

“We can override it, we are looking at that,” he said.

Freight Transport Association chief Theo de Pencier said: “We welcome Mr Osborne’s public support for scrapping the fuel duty rise but we want more than just warm words from the Chancellor for the sake of UK businesses and the country’s economic recovery. We look forward to seeing the small print.”

And Geoff Dunning of the Road Haulage Association said: “It proves beyond doubt that the noise we have been making on this issue has not fallen on deaf ears.” However, he continued, “a duty freeze in April can only be regarded as a short term fix. If we are to stand any chance of long term growth it is essential that we see a long term solution to this problem.”

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