Fuel duty freeze welcomed by cash-strapped motorists

Motorists in East Anglia are welcoming the Chancellor’s decision to cancel the 3p fuel duty increase planned for September, after new research reveals they have struggled with the impact of keeping their cars filled up.

Highlighting just how important George Osborne’s decision is to the livelihood of people in East Anglia, new research from the RAC has found nearly half (45%) of drivers in the region have cut back spending on essential items such as food and clothing.

In contrast, drivers in London are coping better with the price of fuel at the pumps, with 43% reducing the amount of money they are spending on everyday essentials.

At present petrol and diesel prices in the East Anglia are at a near record high – in some parts unleaded is topping the £1.40 a litre mark, which has led to 42% of drivers in the region cutting out non-essential trips in an effort to save money.

As a result, this is having serious consequences on people’s everyday lives, with 57% of East Anglians saying the cost of fuel is negatively impacting their social life, while one in five (19%) feel it has caused problems for their working life.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: “It’s great news that the Chancellor is not trying to reverse the underlying downward trend in fuel duty revenue by simply clawing back more money for the Treasury per litre.

“With so many people struggling day-to-day to make ends meet and being forced to limit use of their motor vehicle, the government had to take this decision to ease the financial burden on drivers.

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“The result of not doing this would have had serious consequences for the economic recovery, with the findings revealing how fuel prices have a direct knock-on effect on consumer spending and business activity.

“Despite the news there has never been a more expensive time to be a motorist and we will continue to lobby the government alongside FairFuelUK to raise awareness of the hardship faced by the UK’s motorists and ultimately drive down costs at the pumps.”

With this in mind, the RAC is offering motorists up to £100 worth of free fuel to new breakdown customers – £50 for signing up to RAC Rescue and £50 for taking out RAC car insurance. For more information, go to www.rac.co.uk

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