Thank you for contacting me about fuel prices.
I appreciate how important it is that people have access to transport and how the cost of fuel has a disproportionate impact on rural families and businesses. I have worked closely with the haulage industry in North Shropshire since I brought an Adjournment Debate to the House in November 1998 to raise the problems of increasing fuel duty. https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1998-11-11/debates/16bfecf0-7d7c-4a1e-97bc-4678a13c786f/RoadHaulage(Taxation). I was pleased that, thanks to the pressure of other rural MPs, we persuaded the Government to bring in a freeze of fuel duty.
I welcome the fact that the decision to freeze fuel duty for ten consecutive years has saved the average driver a minimum of £1,000.
However, it is worth noting that the fuel duty freeze comes at significant costs to the Exchequer, and that £67bn has been spent on freezing fuel duty and another £46bn will be spent by the end of 2025. Any changes to fuel duty would be considered as part of the normal process leading up to the next Budget, and it has been announced that there will be no Budget this autumn.
It is a difficult time for road hauliers, and I am appreciative of the role that road hauliers are playing in the national effort to combat COVID-19. Practical steps have been taken to support the industry and they are also able to draw on the unprecedented package of financial support made available by the Government, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the bounce Back Loan Scheme.
The Government have also committed to the improvement of infrastructure for motorists and to invest a total of £28.8 billion in England’s strategic and local roads.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.