Chancellor feels the pinch on petrol duty
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Wednesday 16 November 2011
The Chancellor George Osborne is under mounting pressure to scrap the 3p a litre rise in petrol duty due to take effect in January.
Ministers promised to take account of a growing revolt over the planned increase by the public and MPs after the Commons called overwhelmingly for the Government to consider a fuel price stabiliser so taxes would go up as the price of fuel falls and would be cut as the price of oil rises.
The proposal was approved without a vote last night. David Cameron avoided a repeat of last month's Commons rebellion over Europe by allowing Tory backbenchers to back it. Mr Osborne is expected to announce his decision in his autumn statement on 29 November.
Tory MP Robert Halfon, who won yesterday's four-hour debate after an e-petition attracted more than 110,000 signatures, said fuel duty was a "tax on hard-working Britons" and "number one issue" for the public. Some 116 MPs from all parties signed Mr Halfon's motion.
But Tim Yeo, Tory chairman of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, said: "It is important that Britain becomes a low-carbon country."
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