Keep the fuel duty increase, Sustrans tells Chancellor

MPs are to debate a motion urging a reduction in fuel duty. Sustrans says prices should stay high to reduce dependence on oil.
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100,000+ people have signed an e-petition demanding lower fuel duties, triggering a debate on the matter. The motion, to be discussed today and with MPs given a free vote, is supported by more than 100 MPs.

Sustrans is calling on the government to remain firm over the planned VAT increase and invest the revenue collected into improving travel choices available to all. 

With train fares due to rise by an average of 8 percent from 1 January, bus subsidies being substantially reduced and pitifully low spending on walking and cycling projects, the charity is warning Chancellor George Osborne to avoid creating another financial ‘black hole’ by scrapping the increase at his budget statement later this month. 

Jason Torrance, Sustrans’ Policy Director, said: “Those calling for a cut in fuel duty need to be honest about what else the government should cut and how much train and bus fares should increase to be able to afford a reduction in fuel. 

“The Chancellor should stick to his guns, and invest the extra money into public transport and walking and cycling schemes that everyone can benefit from. “With oil reserves in decline, and the Middle East increasingly volatile, it is time to have a transport policy that weans us off our oil dependence, rather than encouraging the population to keep motoring.” 

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