Taxman now takes 66p per pound at the pumps

Julian Harris
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THE GOVERNMENT took 66p of every pound spent at the petrol pumps in the financial year 2009-10, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday.

The figure was up from 62p in the pound in 2008-09, partly due to higher taxes, including VAT.

Yet rising fuel prices mean that the proportion of petrol costs taken by the government is lower than earlier in the decade. In 2001-02, UK authorities grabbed 81p from every pound spent on petrol and diesel.

The price of a litre of unleaded petrol dropped to less than 86p in January 2009, says Experian, but averaged closer to 134p a litre last week.

“Current fuel prices are crippling family budgets, especially those on low incomes,” an RAC spokesperson said. “Something needs to be done to control these spiralling prices – which is why today’s Commons debate on fuel prices is so important.” The Forum of Private Business is urging the coalition to shelve fuel duty rises.

The average household spent £677 on fuel duties in 2009-10. The ONS added: “In 2009-10 the richest 20 per cent of households spent £1,062 on petrol taxes, compared with £365 for the poorest 20 per cent of households.”