Garage slashes fuel prices in protest

A GARAGE is slashing its fuel prices today in a protest over an increase in Government duty.

Russell Claydon

A GARAGE is slashing its fuel prices today in a protest over an increase in Government duty.

From this morning drivers will be able to fill up their cars without paying any VAT at the Jet service station on the southbound carriageway of the A12 at Darsham.

The garage owner, Chris Woodruff, predicts the cut will cost him about £1,000 in lost profit.

The move will mean motorists will be able to take advantage of the special prices with petrol down to 79.9p a litre and diesel at 93.9p a litre - the cheapest prices in the country.

It comes as a permanent 2p duty rise in the cost of petrol announced in Alastair Darling's pre-budget report comes into force. A temporary credit-busting reduction in VAT from 17.5% to 15% is also implemented today.

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The first 10,000 litres of fuel sold on the forecourts at Darsham today will be charged at 0% VAT.

Mr Woodruff, the owner of the service station, said he came up with the idea to reward his customers as a protest over the high amount of duty being paid on fuel in Britain compared to elsewhere.

He predicts the increase in fuel duty will lead to petrol prices being pushed up above the £1 a litre mark again within a year.

He said: “Jet has given us the authorisation to go for it and we are effectively going to be giving the stuff away on Monday.

“It was our decision and we are losing somewhere in the region of £1,000 doing this.

“We want to prove to the members of the public how much duty the Government is making.”

He added: “I am trying to look after our local customers and give them something back.

“The amount of duty is costing the business another 2.5% and the business cost is going up and no-one seems to really see that.”

Louise Doherty, from fuel campaigning website, said of the Suffolk price-cut: “I think it is really admirable someone is taking such a stand.

“We had a blog about the duty on the website which received 10,000 comments so there is a lot of public feeling about this and it is just nice someone is saying 'it is going to put me out of pocket' but still doing this.”

She said the duty rise coinciding with the Government VAT cut from today would mean motorists will not see a rise at the pumps now, but they will suffer from higher prices permanently from next year - effectively at 2p a litre more.

Last night the Treasury were unavailable for comment.

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