Cross-party backing for Budget U-turn on fuel tax

The pressure is growing on George Osborne to perform another Budget U-turn on the proposed 3p increase on fuel tax after dozens of MPs from across the political spectrum backed calls for a climbdown.

Conservative MPs Andrew Percy, Gordon Henderson and Philip Davies are among those backing an SNP amendment to the recent Budget, calling on the Chancellor to ditch the plans.

MPs from across nine political parties and one independent are backing the campaign, which has the support of Fairfuel UK.

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SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie said: “Politicians are throwing aside party differences and uniting on this crucial issue to help boost our stagnating economy.

“The SNP clause to scrap the 3p fuel hike is a clear and effective way for the Treasury to take action now. We already have the highest fuel taxes in Europe, with 81.5p going to the Treasury in fuel duty and VAT on every litre sold.

“Scrapping the clause will ease the burden on households and businesses across the country and, crucially, it will help get the economy moving again.

“The campaign is growing fast both inside and outside the parliament. With the UK government already U-turning on pasties, caravans, skips and the charity tax, there is no excuse not to listen to the hundreds of thousands of people who are calling for an end to this highway robbery.”

The amendment, which also has the support of Welsh Nationalists and Respect MP George Galloway, will be tabled at earliest opportunity, when the budget has completed committee stage in late June.