Call to cancel petrol tax rise

Filling up at a petrol station.  Picture: Liz Mockler D2909LM
Filling up at a petrol station. Picture: Liz Mockler D2909LM
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AN MP is calling on the Chancellor to cancel the government’s three pence per litre petrol tax rise that will hit South Yorkshire people hard when it comes into force on January 1 2013.

Michael Dugher, the MP for Barnsley East, has criticised the Government for being out of touch with local people and the rising cost of living.

As well as helping people on low and middle incomes, stopping the petrol tax rise would also help businesses and the local economy.

Mr Dugher said: “At a time when the cost of living is rising, it cannot be right to hit middle and low income families and small businesses with another tax rise.

“The price of petrol is now more than £1.36 a litre, a big rise of 15p since May 2010. People in South Yorkshire are really feeling the squeeze from the VAT rise - which has added 3p to the price of a litre of petrol - and deep cuts to things like tax credits - so delaying January’s fuel duty rise, at least until April, would provide some much-needed financial relief.”

He continued: “This could be paid for pay for by clamping down on identified tax avoidance loopholes. For example, there is a growing problem with some employment agencies forcing workers to become employees of an umbrella company. They then falsely inflate the worker’s travel and food expense claims, reducing tax and national insurance, and pocket the avoided tax as profits. HM Revenue and Customs has forecast that these schemes cost the exchequer £650m a year and delaying the fuel duty rise until April 2013 would cost around £350.”