Calls for temporary cut to fuel duty after petrol prices hit record levels

Pumping gas

Rising pump prices have prompted MPs to call for government action to reduce prices. - Credit: PA/Getty

A Suffolk MP has called for the tax on fuel to be temporarily cut after the war in Ukraine pushed petrol prices to record levels. 

Dr Dan Poulter joined calls for Rishi Sunak to introduce a temporary cut to excise duty in next week's spring statement.

He said the volatility on the world markets showed the need to improve energy security but added that in the short term there was a need to ease the burden of those who relied on their cars – particularly those in rural areas.

Dr Poulter said: "The war in Ukraine and the sanctions that have been placed on Russia do show how dependent the world market has become on their energy supplies. We have to look at ending that and having more secure energy supplies.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter

Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has called for a temporary cut in fuel duty. - Credit: Office of Dr Dan Poulter

"But in the short term, the Chancellor should look at reducing fuel duty to bring prices down a bit. It is those in rural areas who really tend to suffer – they rely more on their cars but find prices at their local retailers higher."

He added that rural residents relied on oil for their central heating and this had also increased in price but, unlike gas, is not included in the government's price cap on energy prices.

The price of filling your tank with petrol or diesel still varies considerably – with supermarket forecourts generally cheaper than traditional filling stations and rural sites having higher prices than those in town.

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At the Asda filling station at Bury Road in Ipswich E10 petrol was 160.7p per litre with diesel at 172.7p. The Norwich Road Shell service station had petrol at 165.9p and diesel at 177.9p.

The Shell station at Stratford St Andrew, just south of Saxmundham, was selling petrol for 173.9p and diesel for 179.9p.

In the House of Commons, Clacton MP Giles Watling also urged the government to help.

He said: “With the cost of fuel reaching record levels, we face a cost of living rise across the board. Everything we consume has to be delivered and Clacton can be a long way.

“France is offering rebates, Germany a fixed-price reduction, has Mr Sunak considered special reductions – say 15% – for vital fuel users, such as haulage companies?”