Fuel tax break for drivers but air passengers left out

Marion Dakers
MOTORISTS were one of the winning groups in Osborne’s speech, being told that fuel duty will be frozen in January and a planned rise pushed back to August.

In a move intended to give relief to households who have a car as a necessity rather than a luxury, the chancellor said a 3.02p hike has been postponed until August, and the smaller rise of 1.92p due in the summer has been scrapped altogether.

The Treasury said last night that the tax break was not being paid for directly by its North Sea profits charge, which was hiked in March specifically to pay for an earlier fuel duty holiday.

But air passengers were disappointed after Osborne stood firm over air passenger duty, which is to rise at double the rate of inflation from April.

Airlines had lobbied for the tax to be scrapped and said yesterday’s move was “another own goal” for the British economy.