26 January 2011
Following two tax increases in four days we now have record petrol prices at the pumps and tax now accounts for 63% of the pump price.
Prices are almost 20p a litre more than at this time last year and the average motorist is paying £10 more each time they fill up at the pumps.
Lower-income drivers have reached breaking point, and fuel tax increases are helping to takeaway the mobility they need to get to work and carry out their daily lives.
The proposed April increase in fuel duty must be scrapped.
Before the last General Election the Conservative Party talked about the possibility of introducing a 'Fair Fuel Stabiliser' but since last year's election the Government had gone very quiet on the subject until just four days after increasing fuel duty, the Prime Minister indicated that a mechanism that would cut the tax on petrol is being considered.
The idea is that as global oil prices increase, the tax take is reduced and as global prices drop, the tax take is increased. To ensure that this is not a blank cheque for the Treasury or indeed the motorist, caps would need to be introduced, but in essence it could bring more certainty to fuel prices and help people and industry to budget for their fuel costs.
Like all these ideas the devil really is in the detail but it could work.
We understand that record pump prices are having a big effect on AA members. Our latest Populus Poll shows that two thirds of drivers are cutting back on journeys, cutting back on expenditure or cutting back on both, as a result of high fuel prices.
So we're encouraging AA Members to help put pressure on the Government to consider cutting fuel duty and certainly not to increase it in April as is planned.
Write to your local MP, write to the Chancellor and write to your local paper.
We've suggested the outline of a letter to MPs below, so get writing to your MP demanding a fairer fuel tax and we will continue to do our bit too.
Simply copy and paste the text below into your preferred document or email editor and add your own MP's contact details along with details of your own situation and a description of the way that high fuel prices are affecting your daily life.
Dear (Mr/Mrs/Ms) .......MP's name here
I feel compelled to write to you about the rising cost of petrol and diesel and the severe impact this is having on my finances and ability to travel.
I am .......describe your age, occupation, marital status, family size here
Since the beginning of last year, average petrol pump prices have risen from just under 111p/litre to almost 128p/litre. Diesel now costs more than 132p/litre, compared to 112.5p a year ago.
I would like to explain to you what impact this is having on my ability to drive and go about my everyday life.
My circumstances are:
....................Describe here how you use your car (work, daily trips essential journeys etc.), your annual mileage, how much you're spending on fuel and the impact of higher fuel prices on other aspects of your life.
As my local MP, I would be grateful if you could let me know your own thoughts on record fuel prices and the financial difficulties this presents me and other drivers.
Could you please tell me what your party is doing to try to improve the situation for millions of drivers who use their cars as an every day necessity.
Above all, as my MP, I should be grateful if you would raise my concerns in Parliament and with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
your name and address