FairFuelUK, the Nationally Recognised Award Winning Campaign fighting for lower petrol & diesel prices, is widely accredited with stopping £30 billion of road user taxes being levied on businesses & public in this Parliament
Quentin WillsonQuentin Willson is one of Britain’s best-known motoring authorities and is lead campaigner for FairFuelUK. He spent over a decade presenting BBC's Top Gear and was largely responsible for bringing the once scandalously high prices of new cars in the UK down to the same level as the rest of Europe.
See his new and very popular Classic Car Show
on Channel 5

Freight Transport AssociationThe Road Haulage Association    The Association of Pallet NetworksMicrolise help our customers to reduce the cost and environmental impact of their fleet operations.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015

If you’re happy to help finance tax credits, defence spending and cleaning up the diesel emissions blunders look away now. But if you think it’s unfair for drivers to bankroll all these government-spending plans then read on. Our contacts in the Treasury say there’s an 80% chance fuel duty will be raised in the Autumn Statement.  And that’s despite FairFuelUK giving the Chancellor evidence from the CEBR proving that low transport costs have actually improved tax revenues and significantly stimulated economic growth. In 72 hours 12,000 of you also emailed the Treasury stressing the importance of this historic evidence and asking for the current freeze in duty levels to continue for the length of this Parliament. You’ve asked this because it makes clear and prudent financial sense.

But politics doesn’t work that way. When the government gets rudely snubbed on tax credit changes and events force them to unpick their defence cuts where do they come to rattling their tins?  To the long-suffering 37 million drivers who for years have been the uncomplaining financiers of government spending.  And what’s so frustrating for all those hard working businesses and families is that there’s now no doubt at all that keeping fuel duty low (its still the highest of the G7 economies) has brought wide-ranging and powerful benefits to this country’s economy. Nobody can now argue with any authority that stifling economic growth with high transport taxes is a good thing - quite the opposite in fact. Raise duty and you slow economic activity and reduce GDP. This is now an immutable and well-documented fact.

That the Treasury is actively considering raising duty is bad enough but what’s worse is that they may try to wrap it in some pseudo-environmental cloak of helping to improve air quality. Raising the duty on diesel by just a penny may, to the casual observer, be justified environmentally but it will cost us £9 billion in lost economic activity and higher prices and have no effect whatsoever on reducing the number of the worst polluting cars and vans on our roads.  If the Treasury tries to argue that raising diesel duty is going to reduce the level of pollutants in the air this will be a ponderous whopper of some magnitude and they’ll instantly lose both credibility and integrity.  Watch out for this because it’s a PR disaster that will backfire badly and show that they’ve ignored evidence-based research and the wishes of tens of thousands of our supporters. This will be an act of panicked arrogance.

What happens in the next few weeks will be a test of the Treasury’s wisdom and financial credibility. Do they take the easy but hugely dangerous option of raising duty because they badly need the cash or will they understand that every shred of evidence now proves that such a policy will slow our economic growth? You’d think that this would be an easy bet and that reason will prevail.  But desperate politicians can do desperate things and their contempt and lack of understanding for road users continues to surprise everybody. Meddling with fuel duty in the Autumn Statement could turn out to be one of the defining moments in this government’s fiscal history. Get it wrong and they could look very foolish indeed.

Quentin Willson

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Friday, November 20, 2015

FairFuelUK CEBR Report - Low Fuel Prices Add £11.6 Billion to Economy

A groundbreaking report published this week by the Centre for Economic and Business Research confirms that the lower petrol and diesel prices of 2015 have raised UK GDP by 0.6%, created an extra £11.6 billion of economic activity, 121,000 jobs and boosted government tax revenues. The research also shows that raising duty on diesel or increasing VED on diesel vehicles would cost businesses and families £9.3 billion across the current Parliament.
The historic research, commissioned by FairFuelUK, shows that the low oil and fuel forecourt prices seen this year have increased business investment, lowered production costs and improved household spending across the UK economy.
Critically, the data also proves that the suspension of the government fuel duty escalator has increased tax revenues to the Exchequer by a net gain of £1.3 billion.
Had the fuel escalator been in place the extra burden to the economy would have been £4.9 billion.

FairFuelUK’s campaigner, Quentin Willson, says: ‘This landmark report completely destroys the myth that high fuel duty levels increases government tax receipts. We’ve proved that keeping duty low actually increases revenues into the Exchequer by improved economic activity, more income tax, NI, Corporation Tax and VAT. The government must now do everything in its power to lower fuel duty as well as making sure fuel retailers pass on oil price savings to businesses and consumers. Our future economic strength depends on this policy.”

The report also strikes a warning note to the Chancellor in the run up to next week’s Autumn Statement on diesel duty and VED. Any plans to increase tax levies on diesel usage as a reaction to the VW emissions scandal would cost the UK economy over £9 billion in extra taxation.
Howard Cox, co-founder of FairFuelUK says: ‘George Osborne should look at this data very carefully indeed. We’ve provided clear evidence-based proof that lower transport costs of 2015 have significantly benefitted everybody, including the Treasury and there’s now no argument left not to reduce fuel duty. Any plans he may have to penalise drivers for using diesel cars, vans and trucks will backfire badly and hit businesses and families with a shocking £9.3 million bill.”
Cebr Director, Oliver Hogan said: ‘While the continuation of the fuel duty escalator would have brought in additional indirect taxes over the past year, the Government would have been trading off the boost to economic activity and jobs for increased tax revenues. Given the fragility of the economic recovery, this would in hindsight have been an unwise policy.’
To read and download the CEBR Report Click Here

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

We promised you that we’d officially warn George Osborne against raising duty in the Autumn Statement and we have. This week Howard and I braved the rain and autumnal gales outside the Treasury to hand-deliver evidence supporting our argument that raising fuel duty - especially diesel - would damage the economy. Our closely argued letter shows that the UK has the highest fuel duty regime of any of the 56 countries in Continental Europe, that any increase in diesel duty would increase costs for hauliers which would be passed down the supply chain to the high street and consumers. And that could trigger higher inflation and a rise in interest rates. Rob Flello MP was unequivocal ’If the Chancellor raises the cost of diesel it could flat-line the economy for the next two years and be a catastrophic miscalculation’.

Jason McCartney MP joined us in warning against any knee jerk reaction to the VW Emission Sandal. 'Punishing families, businesses and the general road economy because of past political mistakes is neither wise nor fair. Consumers were told to switch to diesel and they shouldn’t be financially penalised because of poor government advice given over a decade ago.’
FairFuelUK also told the Chancellor that now is not the time for environmental point-scoring and the unintended consequences of pushing up UK haulage costs against the looming threat of a global slow down wouldn’t be wise at all. To read your letter to the Chancellor, click here 

The Sun and the BBC were on the Treasury steps with us along with the Road Haulage Association, Freight Transport Association and Microlise.  We can safely say that the Chancellor and Treasury will now be in no doubt how our 1.2 million supporters and many many cross-party MPs feel about any plans to change fuel duty. Howard and I delivered your strong and cogent objections. Let’s hope George Osborne listens.
Here are the FairFuelUK Campaigning Team outside the Treasury yesterday.
Jason McCartney MP with Quentin Willson outside the Treasury with Letter to George Osborne

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FairFuelUK is managed by Howard Cox and Quentin Willson (TV Broadcaster and Motoring Journalist).
email: campaign@fairfueluk.com    
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Howard Cox 07515 421611
FairFuelUK, 1 Rammell Mews,Cranbrook,Kent TN17 3BQ. UK