Fuel duty rise would be 'political suicide on a seismic scale' with petrol and diesel prices soaring

Howard Cox speaking about fuel prices

Howard Cox has warned that increasing the fuel duty rate would be 'political suicide'

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 13/09/2023

- 11:17

Updated: 13/09/2023

- 16:23

Drivers have been hammered by rising petrol and diesel prices in recent months

The Government would be risking “political suicide” if they were to raise the level of fuel duty in the upcoming Autumn Statement, one expert has said.

Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, lamented the high petrol and diesel prices, saying drivers were continually being hammered by the unfair costs.

Currently, drivers are paying an average of 154p per litre for petrol and 156.3p per litre for diesel, with both prices likely to rise in the future.

Speaking to GB News, he pointed the finger at OPEC+, the international cartel of oil-producing countries, with members including Russia.


It would be political suicide on a seismic s

He said: “They’re basically cutting supply and production to increase profits. It’s as simple as that.

“We’ve got the Competition and Markets Authority agreeing that we should put in place PumpWatch – a consumer price regulatory body.

“At the moment the fuel supply chain is making huge amounts of profits and they’re growing at the moment. Why have we not got PumpWatch in place? Jeremy Hunt promised he would do this so what’s going on?

“So I’m writing to the Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho to ask what’s going on.

“PumpWatch is an important opportunity for next year's general election for them to stand by motorists and get rid of all these anti-driver policies particularly this lottery in pricing in the fuel supply chain.”

In the 2023 Spring Statement, the Government announced it would continue to support motorists and businesses by freezing the fuel duty rate for a further 12 months.

This meant that the 5p per litre cut introduced in 2022 would continue for another year and the planned increase in line with inflation for 2023-24 would be cancelled.

It is estimated that this would cost the Government £10billion over two years, allowing the average car driver to save around £200.

The Government said it would continue to keep fuel duty rates in the long term under review, highlighting the support for motorists and any “fiscal implications”.

Howard Cox added that it was “impossible to say” when fuel prices would drop back down to levels seen in the past few months.

He added: “I understand that oil will probably stabilise at the $90 mark (£72) over the next couple of months.

“That hurts in the cost of living crisis. Don’t forget we’re not far away from an Autumn Statement and I’m hearing things that they’re looking at putting up fuel duty.


Petrol and diesel prices

The fuel duty cut was extended in March


“If they did that, that would be political suicide on a seismic scale.”

You may like