Chancellor to help fuel petrol cuts

PRICE CUT: Fuel duty has been reduced.

PRICE CUT: Fuel duty has been reduced.

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DRIVERS have been given a slight respite in the budget after months of increasing petrol prices.

Fuel duty was due to be increased in April, but instead Chancellor George Osborne announced this week that the tax would be cut by 1p from 6pm on Wednesday.

Filling stations in Dewsbury in Mirfield have put up their prices by as much as 7p per litre since the start of the year due to the VAT increase and the rising cost of oil.

David Webster, managing director of Dewsbury haulage firm Brocklehurst Transport, said that the announcement was a ‘bonus’ that could lead to reduced prices for his customers. But he said that fuel prices remain volatile, as a result of the unrest in Libya, which is a major oil exporter.

Driving instructor Dean Robinson said that the government could have done more to ease petrol costs.

He said: “It’s bit of a relief that there is going to be some slight reduction. But I would have hoped for a bit more to be quite honest, because there has been a big jump up recently.

“The only relief is that it hasn’t gone up any further. A bigger reduction would have been a bit more beneficial. I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference.”

Wednesday’s budget also included measures to help 10,000 first-time buyers to buy homes, £100m to repair potholes and £200m for regional railways in England.

There will be 21 new ‘enterprise zones’, including one in the Leeds city region, and employees will be able to earn an extra £630 before paying income tax from next year.

VAT on fuel will not be reduced and the rise in fuel duty is scheduled to go ahead in April 2012.

Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell said: “This is a government trying to do the best it can, bearing in mind the position we are in. George Osborne has tried his best to do what needed to be done.”