Motorists 3p petrol duty hike to rise in stages to ease pressure on businesses

MOTORISTS will see a marginal rise in fuel prices after chancellor Alistair Darling outlined plans to increase petrol duty by 3p a litre over the next year.

Darling said yesterday during the Budget that fuel duty will rise by 1p from 1 April, again on 1 October and finally on 1 January 2011.

The news of the staggered rise comes as a relief to motorists, who were expecting Darling to implement the full increase next month.

He said: “I want to help families and business through this period. So I have decided to stage next month’s increase in fuel duties. This staging will ease the pressure on businesses and family incomes at a time when other prices are increasing.”

Darling said the first increase set to come into effect next month, will be less than inflation and by the time the full rise comes in by next year, he forecasted inflation to be back below two per cent.

“Staging the fuel duty increase will avoid a big hit in an April Fuel’s Day Fiasco, however a 1p increase will still hit motorists hard with record prices at the pumps,” said AA president Edmund King. “Perhaps the thought of 32 million fuming drivers and voters influenced government thinking?”

The AA has estimated that the rise in fuel duty equates to 50p a tank and £2.12 a month for a family with two cars.