Government plans fuel duty freeze until 2015

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the coalition government plans to freeze fuel duty until 2015. He said that relies upon the government being able to find the savings necessary.

Osborne slammed Labour leader Ed Miliband's plan for energy sector price controls, saying that they would simply see bills increase in the short and the longer term.

Companies would just jack up prices before the freeze, so in the short term prices go up. And companies would not invest in this country and build the power stations we need, so in the long term prices go up.

That's Labour's offer: get hammered with high prices now, get hammered with high prices later.

But that will still leave the government imposed cost on the price of fuel at a staggeringly high level.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

Transport is the single biggest area of household expenditure bar none and our own research shows that 800,000 of the poorest households are in transport poverty, spending a quarter or more of their income on running a car. This proposal will be welcomed but let’s not forget that the Chancellor still takes 60% of the price of a litre of fuel in the form of taxation.

The chancellor also pledged to run budget surpluses and pay down the national debt, if the Conservative party is in government again after 2015.

For now, the government is still running deficits in excess of £100bn - let alone being able to manage running a surplus.