DRIVERS can breathe a sigh of relief as the Chancellor will not increase fuel duty for two weeks.
Jeremy Hunt will push for a 5p cut in car tax in this month’s autumn statement – despite pressure from the Treasury to increase the tax.
And in a glimmer of hope for further tax cuts, sources say Tory bean counters have not yet made a final decision on personal tax relief this autumn as forecasts continue to improve.
But fears that more cash in workers’ wallets could fuel inflation could offset the good news when he presents an update on the country’s finances on November 22.
However, Mr Hunt already has significantly more scope than in last March’s budget, with experts predicting a war chest of £13bn.
This has helped the Chancellor fend off calls from civil servants to scrap the 5p cut. A source said: “As always there was internal pressure to increase fuel revenue this autumn but Jeremy said no.”
No11 will receive the latest official forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility tomorrow, with internal discussions about other possible tax cuts under scrutiny.
Inflation and a freeze in tax bands mean Mr Hunt has a far better tax take than predicted – and Tory MPs have long called on him to give cash-strapped Brits a break.
Former cabinet minister Sir John Redwood urged the Chancellor to go further: “We need a tax cut.”
“We need it for the economy.”
He added: “I would remove the 5% VAT on domestic fuel for next year and I would cut a similar 5% on the price of petrol and diesel at the pumps by cutting fuel taxes.”
Thanks to our Keep it Down campaign, fuel duty has been frozen at 57.95p since March 2011 and temporarily reduced by an additional 5p in 2022.
The 52.95p tax rate expires in March next year – meaning a new battle against the hated tax is brewing ahead of the budget’s passage in the spring.