Fair Fuel Has Its Day In The House

Posted on: Wednesday, 16 November 2011 by Mike Webb in categories Westminster, FairFuel UK, Road, Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP, Plaid_Cymru

After over 100,000 signatures on the Government’s e-petition website, support from scores of MPs and thousands of members of the public through the Fair Fuel UK website; Tuesday finally saw the House of Commons floor debating perhaps the most important political issue facing the country today – fuel duty.

Opened by Fair Fuel UK parliamentary figurehead Robert Halfon MP, and rounded up by longstanding fuel price campaigner and FFUK supporter Angus MacNeil MP, the debate was a lively one; with MPs on all sides offering round examples of how this pernicious tax is affecting motorists and businesses in their constituency. Furthermore, through the batting back and forth of blame and critique for Governments of all sides in their historic handling of fuel duty, the common thread that ran through almost all of the contributions was that the tax has gone beyond the point where people can withstand it anymore, and that the planned increases for January should not go ahead.

For FTA, it was encouraging to see so many well-known Parliamentary figures both new and old, and many who have been longstanding supporters of the road freight industry such as Conservatives Caroline Nokes and Marcus Jones; Labour’s Rob Flello and Nick Smith, and Plaid Cymru’s Elfyn Llwyd amongst others from all regions and parties standing up for the industry that underpins their local economies.

The Government, in the form of new Economic Secretary Chloe Smith, was keen to stress that she had “listened” to the debate, however that such a decision on future tax levels could not be made in an instant. We will hopefully get a clearer indication of the Government’s intended direction of travel on fuel issues when the Chancellor makes his autumn statement later in November, and we will certainly know how hard ministers have listened when fuel duty either rises or does not on January 1.

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