Chancellor Rishi Sunak accused of using Universal Credit as a smokescreen for fuel duty rise


CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak is using the row over the Universal Credit uplift to “smokescreen” the decision on fuel duty, campaigners fear.

FairFuelUK say the Treasury has finalised plans for a 5p increase in the cost of petrol and diesel regardless of whether they decide to keep the £20 UC uplift.

Campaigners fear Rishi Sunak has already decided to hike the fuel duty

Howard Cox a leading campaigner said that the decision is “80 per cent finalised even before Universal credit smokescreen.” 

HOAR revealed yesterday that the Chancellor has privately warned he would be forced to hike fuel duty to pay for extending the Universal Credit uplift post-lockdown.

He told Tory MPs “drastic measures” will be needed to foot the £6billion Universal Credit bill worth £1,040 to each claiming household.

Mr Cox told HOAR: “Hiking fuel tax is like putting an even bigger hole in a sinking ship. 5p on duty raises only a fraction of the cost of the hike in UC.

“It is pure vindictiveness forced by an ill-informed green agenda, that the Treasury are lashing out at motorists.

“Hitting the world’s already highest taxed drivers hard, and continuing with the HS2 white elephant, will be political suicide, cost jobs, raise inflation, and hit white van man and low income families hardest.

“Thousands of hauliers working to minuscule margins will go to the wall.

Time and time again the CEBR has shown the negative economic effects of increasing fuel duty.

“The 10 years freeze on fuel duty is bringing the UK rate of tax into line with the rest of Europe.

“It has reduced the CPI by 6.7 per cent and raised household real incomes, especially those of neediest households, by £24bn.

“Why abandon it when taxing fuel hits the poor cruellest, with the North suffering most and London least? “Rishi, have the guts to cut fuel duty and watch the economy rocket and you will wallow in the growth tax revenue that will pour into the Treasury to pay off your Covid debt.”

The hated levy has been frozen at 58p per litre for the past ten years thanks to campaigning by HOAR.

A 5p hike would spark uproar on Tory benches, and would trigger a big rebellion.

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