"The real independent and not for profit voice in Westminster for 37m UK drivers, who want clean air too, but want this accomplished without being demonised, blamed and continually treated as easy cash cows."

Reaction to the Budget

 " Fuel Duty Must be Kept Frozen - Here's Why!"
A plea to the Chancellor by Howard Cox, February 2021

Firstly, a big thanks to the Conservative Party for the £24bn per year added to consumer spending since 2011 - Freezing Fuel Duty was inspired.

After 10 years of objective evidence-based campaigning and lobbying four Conservative Chancellors, it would be churlish, not be grateful for this intuitive, popular, and phenomenally successful policy. 

It's now even more vital NOT to change this winning fiscal formula .  

We hear the Chancellor wants to increase fuel duty - this will be a big mistake!

Despite our substantial proof (see this message with detailed references below) we hear Rishi Sunak, is unashamedly hell bent on raising the levy.

His widely leaked plan to reverse the productive decade long fuel duty freeze, may be dressed up in a trendy virtue signalling, ill-informed and highly financed green agenda.

A misguided attempt to pay off Covid debt and get back bench support.

Howard Cox Backing Tories in 2019 Election in the Sun

Hiking Fuel Duty in the March 2021 Budget would be damaging on so many levels.

Before listing detailed reasoning as to why, please understand the disappointment from millions to see the Tory Party thinking of increasing Fuel Duty!

Back at the 2019 General Election I, as founder of FairFuelUK, suggested in the Sun for voters to back the Conservatives to form the next Government.

I wrote:  "A Thriving low-tax economy for everyone under a Boris Johnson-lead majority administration is the only solution."

That was based on your welcome freeze since 2011 against the likely draconian anti-Motorist Policies of the other Parties that would have crippled the economy and the poorest.

Shockingly those same anti-driver plans now seem to be rolling out from the very Party FairFuelUK backed. All without consultation and not mentioned in the Tory General Election Manifesto.

This missive is sent to you and all your Conservative Colleagues on behalf of 1.7m FairFuelUK supporters, including the thousands who have signed up to the campaign in #constituency#, together with our founding backers the RHA, Logistics UK and over 150 MPs past and present who have rallied behind the award winning crusade across all Parties. 

Howard Cox

Had Labour been in power, petrol would be a staggering £1.75p+ and diesel £1.80p+ per litre.

Labour Party Logo

It’s important to fully understand, had Labour’s fiscal folly been entrenched from 2011, overall pump prices would now be well over, a wallet wrenching, £1.75 per litre. Such sky-high pump prices would have seen businesses, particularly hauliers go to the wall, tens of thousands of jobs lost, GDP reduced, and the then current recession continue.

Had Labour's fuel escalator been in place, an average tax paying family would be paying £30 more at the pumps. Filling up their 55-litre tank is still significantly high at £66. At £96 under Labour, it would have been crippling. That saving went back into the economy delivering extra growth taxes, jobs, improved GDP, low inflation and massive consumer spending. It's a no brainer.

To pay off Covid debt: the way forward is to incentivise and motivate. PLEASE don't punish those that gave the Tories an 80 seat majority.

Boris understood and promised at the 2019 Election not to hike Fuel Duty.

The Chancellor will be breaking the Prime Minister’s promise to the nation prior to the Tory  landslide election victory. Following a question put to him by the Sun’s political team, he clearly espoused fuel duty would NOT be hiked. He told me that following Brexit, we’d regain control of our VAT too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sss5_2Erve0

Read what the highly respected Tory Grandee David Davis writes in the Mail on Sunday Feb 14. He really gets it and shows why the Tory Party won in 2019. One Nation Conservatism through Cutting Taxes!

Objective campaigning over 10 years, with MPs, in the media & backed by independent expert economists.

MPs with FairFuelUK's Howard Cox

The fuel duty freeze started when FairFuelUK led by myself, with the redoubtable MP Robert Halfon, alongside the influential Sun’s Keep It Down campaign, we lobbied George Osborne to overturn Labour’s planned fuel price escalator. In his first Budget we actually got him to cut this regressive tax by 1p.

FairFuelUK has commissioned independent economic analytical evidence each and every year since 2011. See References at the end of this message. We have presented this pantechnicon of proof to Exchequer Secretary after Exchequer Secretary.

The highly respected independent economists, Cebr, proved the decade's Fuel Duty freeze has been a great success.

The 10 year freeze in fuel duty, popular across all political parties, is at long last bringing the UK rate of fuel tax into line with Europe’s. We’ve waited far too long to get even close.

The Centre for Economic and Business Research say it has reduced inflation by 6.7% and bettered household real incomes, especially those of poorest households, by £24bn per year.  See Full Report

The Cebr say just a 2p rise in Fuel Duty during the pandemic crisis, will mean worried families and small businesses suffer even more financially.

  • a 2p rise will reduce GDP by about £600 million
  • a 2p rise will cut employment by at least 8,000 jobs
  • a 2p rise will add 0.6% to the cpi (inflation)

Were you aware that 92% of all fuel duty is paid by non Londoners?

Sun: Fuel hike would bash Tory North

Total Household Expenditure on Petrol and Diesel by UK Region.

The Cebr have shown that London-based drivers pay a third less of their income than those motorists in Northern Ireland.

Wales, Midlands and the North pay twice as much as London drivers too. Any fuel duty hike will be devastating to these regions.

Income proportion on fuel by region

London continues to be out of touch with the rest of the UK.

Making decisions that detrimentally impact on the rest of the UK is resented & seen as dishonest.

An average of 77% of drivers outside of London use their car to get to work. Just 27% do so in London. Of those, only 6% are in central London. Here are the figures from Transport Statistics 2020 showing percentages of UK workforce that drive to work.

UK Drive to work statistics

Main conclusions from Independent Economic Analysis 2020 (Cebr).

  • Fuel duties are an inefficient way of raising revenue with one of the lowest ‘recovery rates’
  • Fuel Duty and Air Passenger Duty are not currently assessed for behavioural impact but are primarily looked at in terms of their revenue-raising capacity.
  • The tax is disappearing anyway as drivers move away from fossil fuel
  • Meanwhile the tax is regressive and damages the regions. 
  • It lands a further blow on two vital industries that have already been badly hit by government policy recently - Haulage and van delivery.
  • It damages the economy, causes unemployment and raises inflation
  • The 9 year freeze has been very successful, reducing the CPI by 6.7% and raising household incomes by £24 billions.
  • With the current policy proving so successful, why abandon it?
 

So with all this bullet-proof evidence why does the Treasury continue to deny the benefits of Freezing Fuel Duty?

There is a myth repeatedly rolled out by HM Treasury that they’ve lost billions in capping fuel duty since 2011! You may believe this tall tale, but it belies the unadulterated truth on how the 10 years fuel duty freeze has benefitted everyone in the UK economically and socially. The clear and indisputable proof is clearly laid out in this message to you with detailed references included at the end of the document.

This is why the longest period in any UK excise levy being capped must not come to an end .

The Treasury knows full well that cutting Fuel Duty stimulates the Economy. They've even proved it, themselves! 

The Treasury paradoxically published a report in 2014 saying “The modelling suggests that these reductions in duty will increase GDP by between 0.3 and 0.5 per cent in the long-term. The modelling shows increased profits, wages and consumption all add to higher tax revenues.” In other words cutting Fuel Duty is an economic stimulus!

EU Tax Takes Table

UK drivers are STILL the highest taxed in the World!

Even after a decade’s cap on the levy, UK motorists are still the highest taxed in the world. A further reason to leave fuel tax unchanged post Brexit. Just look at the Table of Tax Takes in the EU. Source RAC Foundation.

Why do the green agenda special advisors in Whitehall want to hit the poorest hardest?

Why abandon a ‘proven to be effective’ excise management strategy, when we know taxing fuel hits the impoverished hardest, with those above the Watford Gap suffering most and those closeted in London the least? Outside of the ‘out of touch’ Capital, motorists spend 2 to 3 times more of their income on filling-up

Pump Prices have been rising during the pandemic too, so why add more financial misery to the rising cost of filling up?

Pandemic Pump Prices
FairFuelUK Truck in Westminster

Hitting the nation's commercial heartbeat, logistics, serves no purpose or even a quick way to reduce Covid debt.

One sector that will suffer the most, with their fortunes impacting on all our lives, is logistics. Selfless vital key workers during the lockdowns. It wasn't just the NHS's outstanding commitment, we would not have coped without truckers and van drivers too. 

An average haulier spends 40%+ of their income fuelling high tech ‘increasingly low emissions’ chariots. 65% of their fill-up costs add to the Treasury’s 5th largest income, paid by drivers always without fail.

We are all acutely aware high streets are in demise and our exponential move to on-line deliveries is heavily reliant on low distribution costs. Truckers work on tissue thin margins.

CEO of the Road Haulage Association, Richard Burnett says, ‘for an industry that has to make every penny count, the effect of a duty increase of just 1p per litre will be devastating and will mean the end of the road for many operators.’

Unlike the UK, the developed world puts lower fuel duty onto diesel making derv always cheaper than petrol. Those countries recognise the nation’s commercial heartbeat is haulage, distribution, and the explosion of white van deliveries.

Instead, the Treasury is planning to reward our best route to economic recovery with a vicious fiscal kick in the logistics. That cannot be right from the party of business.

How much more can UK's chronically demonised 37m drivers take, without ever being consulted?

There were no clues in the Conservative Manifesto to the rolling out of contentious Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, agreeing higher congestion charges, further emissions zones, divisive congestion causing cycle lanes, and an inexplicable 2030 cliff edge ban policy on fossil fuelled new vehicle sales.

All implemented without sounding out UK’s 37m drivers.

Tory voter trust in the Government is falling because of so many unnecessary anti-driver policies.

Half of Tory-voting motorists in the FairFuelUK Budget 2020 survey said they would ditch the party at the next election if fuel duty were hiked. A later poll last November shows one in four are angry at the anti-driver policies flooding out of the Dept of Transport. Opinion on the Government has not changed and is worsening.

Why Take the Risk for Very Minimal Short Term Gain?

It does seem to our supporters; all rational common sense is to be thrown out of the Party’s traditional low taxation philosophy. This approach is why so many voted Conservative. Such a needless ineffective Covid reasoned cash grab may cost the party hard-won Northern seats or even winning elections so comfortably again.

If it ain't broke don't fix it!

Put frankly, this intuitive and hugely popular, and ingrained grass roots supported Conservative policy, HAS generated extra tax revenue through itself generating considerably more growth income. Its fruitful outcome in adding to GDP, lowering inflation, and helping to raise employment is why duty should be cut or at least, it must be kept frozen, to ensure more of the same.

Rishi’s budget should revert back to the Party's core type - a low tax ethos - incentivisation not appeasing an ill-informed well-financed green agenda that is destined to lose Conservative voters.

The current fiscal crisis is long term and will need up to 50 years of revenue raising and expenditure constraint. Given that any income gains from higher fuel duties will be only temporary, and will evaporate over time, it seems senseless to take the immense political and economic damage, and the myriad of incessant and unexpected anti-driver policies targeting motorists for so little long-term benefit and used as a green excuse to pay off the pandemic bill. None of which were in the Conservative Manifesto policies. More to the point, Rishi’s Budget should revert back to Party type; incentivise, increase consumer spending, stimulate the economy, and most certainly not punish the world’s already highest taxed drivers. This endorses the Taxpayers Alliance recommendations too.

Don't use Covid as a fiscal smokescreen.

Of course, it’s vital that the cost of reducing the huge Covid debt must be repaid. No one will disagree.

But to hit those, who will drive (excuse the pun) getting the best possible chance of economic recovery, would be much more than folly; it would be ineffectual.

Please listen & consult with ALL stakeholders

That means talking to drivers. To quote from the Taxpayers Alliance latest press release “The chancellor should take heed and use his budget to give families and businesses a respite from taxes, offer a rescue for struggling sectors and look to revive jobs and investment in the economy.”

Here's the incontestable independent evidence high Fuel Duty damages the economy.
Presented to you once more.

Click on the reference links to read and download

Thank you for your time and consideration
Howard Cox
Founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign
Speaking on behalf of 1.7m Supporters, 2000+ in each constituency

07515421611 | FairFuelUK Website | howard@fairfueluk.com

Howard Cox