Fuel duty freeze 'is not enough'


Jim Green

FUEL price protestors say the UK government’s decision to freeze fuel duty until next year does not go far enough.

Chancellor George Osborne announced earlier this week that the planned 3p-a-litre rise in August would be delayed until January.

But Ian Charlesworth, from Hawarden, said his Stanlow Fuel Protest and Direct Action Group still wanted to see prices slashed.

He said: “Scrapping the fuel duty increase is a step in the right direction but we believe the price of fuel should be cut.

“We want between 15p and 20p taken off but clearly the government is slowly but surely starting to listen to us.

“We have been here for two years and we are still prepared to take whatever action is needed.”

Mr Charlesworth organised a series of protests last year against rocketing fuel prices, including go-slows on the A55 and through Chester, as well as demonstrations outside Stanlow Oil Refinery.

He said: “We are taking the credit for the fuel duty U-turn and will continue with our campaign.

“We have options available to us and we are looking at targeting the refineries, petrol retailers and supermarkets.

“Prices are being kept artificially high and it needs to stop.”

Mr Charlesworth said the group was also keeping a close eye on barrel prices.
“If prices fall then the savings should be passed onto consumers straight away,” he said.

“We will target those retailers who take too long to pass on those savings by visiting forecourts unannounced and blocking them.

“Fuel is probably the biggest expense in this country and cutting the price would help out struggling families.”

Mr Osborne said he hoped the freeze on fuel duty would boost the struggling economy and provide relief to families and businesses.

Chester MP Stephen Mosley has welcomed the delay of the planned fuel duty rise.

Mr Mosley said: “This is good news for motorists, families and businesses coping with tight finances.

“By taking action on fuel pump prices, freezing council tax and cutting income tax for millions of people, the Conservatives are providing real help to people with the cost of living and a boost for Chester’s economy.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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