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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before