AA comments on Budget 2023

Chancellor spares driving families ‘heavy duty’ pain at the pumps

AA Budget reaction

15 March 2023

Today’s continued freeze on fuel duty*, keeping the 5p cut for another 12 months, spares ‘heavy duty’ pain at the pumps for millions of drivers, their families and businesses.
Jack Cousens, the AA’s head of roads policy, responded: “We are pleased the Chancellor has listened to the AA and frozen fuel duty. Not only will this save drivers ‘heavy duty’ pain at the pump, but will help keep the price of goods and services down as they are mainly transported by road. Crippling road fuel costs are also a major driver of inflation.”
Putting the continued 5p fuel duty cut in perspective, 28% of drivers (rising to 40% in the lower income group) buy a set amount of fuel whenever they got to a fuel station. Finances of many drivers and families are so tight that a £3.30 hike to the cost of a tank of fuel would have tipped many of those knife-edge budgets into much greater difficulty.
Car at petrol pump
“We are pleased the Chancellor has listened to the AA and frozen fuel duty.”
Jack Cousens, AA head of roads policy
Although pump prices are currently stable and way down on the records of July, currently averaging 147.28p a litre for petrol and 166.05p for diesel, they remain much worse than the records pre-covid and before the Ukraine war.
In April 2012, petrol averaged 142.48p and diesel 147.93p. That was considered a ‘nightmare’ level of road fuel cost, mainly because it exceeded by far the worst that oil at $147 could throw at drivers and businesses in the summer of 2008 (petrol 119.70p a litre, diesel 133.25p).
Pothole funding
On the extra £200 million to fix potholes, Cousens said: “An additional £200m to fix potholes is welcome, but we are concerned that the cash won’t become available until next year. Years of under investment in our road network coupled with a cold and wet winter is already unveiling the craters. More money needs to be spent now, as well as significant long-term investment to improve our local roads.”
* Spring Budget 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)