Backbench revolt on fuel price rise quelled by hints of help for motorists
Tory MPs had been expected to join Labour in calling for Chancellor to delay fuel duty rise
Drivers could benefit in next month's Autumn Statement, it emerged, as the Chancellor headed off the threat of a Commons defeat over the price of petrol.
Several Tory backbenchers had been expected to back a Labour motion today calling for a 3p -a-litre rise in fuel duty scheduled for 1 January to be delayed for three months.
But the threat of a rebellion receded last night following well-placed hints that George Osborne will soon reveal extra help for motorists .
Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs will now combine to block the motion, leaving the Chancellor with a free hand to make his own announcement in the Autumn Statement on 5 December.
Robert Halfon, the Tory MP who has been leading a campaign against the planned increase, told The Independent: "When I first heard about the motion I was going to support it, but I have had various conversations and I genuinely believe that Mr Osborne is in strong listening mode so I'm not, as a Tory, going to help Ed Balls knife the Government. You might get one or two Tories voting with Labour, but not many.
"If you look at his motion, it is only to freeze the duty for three months. The Government has talked about lowering the cost of living. If the Autumn Statement has nothing in it and the fuel duty rise goes ahead, then I'll go public and really make a stink. I wouldn't vote with the Government if I didn't genuinely believe they're listening."
The planned increase, which would mean almost 60p out of every pound spent at the pumps went to the Treasury, was scheduled to come into effect in August, but was put back for five months by the Chancellor after opposition from road user groups.
The consumer group Which? called yesterday for the rise to be postponed after an opinion poll suggested that 39 per cent would be forced to cut back on motoring costs.
The organisation's executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Rising fuel prices are the No 1 consumer worry and people are already telling us they're having to cut back and dip into savings just to get by. The forthcoming Autumn Statement must focus on measures that will help put money back in the pockets of consumers."
But the transport charity Sustrans warned that abandoning the fuel duty rise would increase the gap between the poorest in society, who cannot afford to drive, and the majority who can. They argued for the income from fuel duty to be invested in cheap transport.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...