Danny Alexander photoThe FairFuelUK campaign group – together with RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning – recently met Danny Alexander, MP, (pictured) Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to present facts-based evidence to persuade the UK government not to impose a 3p/ litre fuel duty increase.

The RHA has commissioned an independent economic analysis to support the industry’s case and Geoff Dunning, said; “The Minister listened carefully to what we had to say.

“He was also pleased to receive a copy of the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, commissioned by the RHA, which pulls no punches regarding the case for urgent action over fuel duty”.

The report clearly states that a 3p/ litre duty rise on January 1, 2013 would;

  • Cut 35,000 jobs
  • Cut growth by 0.1%
  • Improve the fiscal deficit by only £880 million (40% less tax revenue that Government predictions and is in stark contrast to forecasts that every 1p/ litre duty increase would raise £500 million.
  • Every household will feel an even great strain on their finances, and the
  • Bank of England could be forced to raise interest rates earlier than currently expected.

In contrast, if the contents of the RHA-funded report are acted upon, a fuel duty cut of 3p/ litre would:

  • Create 70,000 jobs
  • Boost the economy by 0.2% – essential at a time when financial growth is so critical
  • Reduce the fiscal position by £1800 million – significantly less than the £3 billion the Treasury would expect.

“We left the Treasury team in no doubt as to the plight of both the motorist and the haulier and it is now vital that we see a stop to an increase in January,” Dunning added: “We made our case clearly, and honestly. To have the additional backing of a professional report that presents a firm and positive case to address fuel duty as a matter of extreme urgency strengthens our case for action”.

The body language from the Minister and his officials was ‘interesting’ an insider told FACTS magazine, “and the Minister personally opened the door and welcomed us in. That’s definitely different.”

While industry experts now consider that Danny Alexander is ‘at least listening’, the final decision will be made by his boss, chancellor George Osborne – which will likely introduce ‘party politics’ into what should be an economics-only decision – in his autumn Budget statement due to be announced on December 5, 2012.