Chancellor George Osborne has announced in this week’s Budget that fuel duty is to be frozen for the fifth consecutive year.
The announcement means a planned duty rise of 0.54p per litre, which was scheduled for September, has been scrapped.
Just one of a number of voter-pleasing measures announced by Mr Osborne in his last Budget ahead of May’s general election, the freeze in duty had the Chancellor boasting that drivers have had “£10 off a tank with the Tories,” the Daily Mail reports.
It is estimated that the average driver has saved around £675 in the five years of the coalition government, thanks to a U-turn on the controversial ‘fuel-price escalator’, which saw above-inflation duty rises between 1993 and 1999, contributing heavily to the gob-smacking 70 per cent tax rate motorists endure at the pumps.
Mr Osborne said: “I want to help families with the cost of filling up a car.
“It’s a cost that bears heavily on small businesses too. It’s the longest duty freeze in over 20 years. It saves a family around £10 every time they fill up their car. That’s £10 off a tank with the Tories.”
The news was welcomed by motoring groups. AA president Edmund King said: “The coalition has done its ‘fuel duty’ by shielding drivers from some of the impact of volatile fuel prices over the past four years by freezing fuel duty, and we welcome the further freeze and cancellation of the scheduled fuel duty rise for September 2015.
“With petrol and diesel prices surging and falling by more than 35p a litre since 2010, the continued four-year fuel duty freeze allows the coalition to dodge the fuel-protest bullet.”
After years of steady growth, drivers have also enjoyed a steep drop in fuel prices this year, as Saudi Arabia increased supply, pushing costs down.