Business groups call for scrapping of fuel duty rise

Business lobbying groups have called for the government to postpone a planned 3p rise in fuel duty set to be implemented in January. Both the Forum of Private Business (FPB) and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have suggested that scrapping the tax hike will help companies stabilise and plan ahead for growth in 2013, assisting the economy as a whole. FPB senior policy adviser, Alex Jackman, said: “A 3p rise in January would be nothing short of economic vandalism in the current climate, and conceivably be the worst possible start to the New Year for cash-strapped small businesses”. He also called for George Osborne to freeze fuel duty for the foreseeable future as companies just start to get a grip on finances as the wider economy starts to recover from the double-dip recession. BRC director general, Stephen Robertson, felt that the fuel duty rise should be ditched in place of other pro-growth measures: “The Chancellor should avoid distractions and diversions and focus on a small number of measures that will really make a difference to customers, employees and businesses”. It is estimated that fuel prices have risen by almost 25% since 2010, even if the proposed fuel duty rise in January doesn’t go ahead, as hauliers have had to bare a large brunt of recessionary woe over the past few years.