The Welsh Conservatives are today calling on the Chancellor to cut fuel duty in this week’s Spring Statement to help families with the cost of living amid increasing diesel and petrol prices.
Wales’ Shadow Finance Minister has said cutting prices at the pump will help people keep more of their money, allowing them to save more for other essential expenditure.
It will also help boost the economy as businesses, like haulage firms, can remain competitive without spending significantly more on fuelling their fleets.
It comes as sanctions on Russia, including the desire for many nations to divest from its oil production, in response to their unjust war on Ukraine, have led to increasing prices at a time when global energy demand is high.
The Welsh Conservatives call would see fuel prices stabilised as the duty would fall as prices increased. They argue that the VAT share the Government takes from increasing costs would make up for the shortfall in duty while still helping consumers.
The contribution, which would be UK-wide, comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak sets out in his annual Spring Statement on how he will prepare the UK ahead of a time of rising costs.
Meanwhile, since devolution began and after 23 years of Labour governments, weekly Welsh pay packets are £59.60 lighter than those in Scotland despite being very similar in 1999. Wales also has the lowest gross disposable income of UK nations.
|The Petrol Retailers Associaton wants the Chancellor to follow the example of other European countries and cut fuel duty to shield consumers from international events.
The Republic of Ireland (ROI) has cut fuel duty, putting forecourts in Northern Ireland (NI) at a competitive disadvantage as motorists and fleet operators cross the border to fill their tanks.
Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the PRA has said:
“It is crucial that the Government takes steps to reduce the burden of energy prices on consumers. Government inaction is now impacting our members in NI, who are unable to match the prices of their counterparts across the border. We strongly urge the Chancellor to follow the example of other European countries and cut fuel duty.”
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Finance Minister Peter Fox MS said, “We know that rising global demand for energy is creating a cost-of-living crisis and that the economic warfare the West is waging on Russia for their illegal actions in Ukraine will not make things easier.
“But the fight for freedom is not free and we must do our best to insulate the British people from the worst of it. If we do not, we risk losing their support in this generational battle against tyranny.
“The Welsh Conservatives believe that the Chancellor’s Spring Statement provides the right opportunity to protect the increasingly tight budget of families and businesses, and this can be done by a progressive cutting of fuel duty. This is a balanced approach that gives both taxpayers and the Treasury something to help weather the post-pandemic, economic headwinds, something we need in Wales more than anywhere after two decades of Labour’s failure to boost wages.
“Then, when this terrible conflict in Ukraine is over and Putin in punished for his crimes against humanity, we can confidently and proudly say that we stuck the course and did our bit to preserve freedom in Europe, and it was made easier by the action of a Conservative government.”