James Moore: Chancellor wouldn't do his duty on fuel prices

Outlook: With the deficit remaining stubbornly high, revenues are rather badly needed

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The Independent Online

Happy days for drivers as the supermarkets open up a new front in their price war, as much in the hope of generating headlines as attracting customers.

The 99p a litre petrol price can already be found in one or two places. If Goldman Sachs’s predictions are accurate, it may get lower still, particularly given the Chancellor’s silly refusal to apply his fuel duty stabiliser. This was an eminently sensible way of handling the tax. You charge more when the oil price is low, less when it is high. As a result, everyone ultimately benefits because prices are more stable and so are the Government’s revenues. With the deficit remaining stubbornly high, revenues are rather badly needed.

For reasons of electoral advantage, however, they won’t be coming from fuel duty, at least not until after the poll. After which it might just be someone else’s job to deliver them.

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