Budget 2023: Chancellor announces fuel duty will be frozen
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In the Spring Statement yesterday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the 5p fuel duty cut introduced last year would be frozen, much to the relief of drivers. The Government said it was committed to continuing to support households and businesses by maintaining the rate of fuel duty at the current rate.
Last March, then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak cut fuel duty by five pence per litre, with Mr Hunt now extending the cut for a further 12 months.
This move has further enabled drivers to save money, when many feared that fuel duty would increase in line with inflation for 2023 and 2024.
The Government stated this move was available for drivers for longer than in many other countries, with petrol and diesel motorists benefitting.
The fuel duty freeze represents £10billion of support from the Government over two years, and is worth around £200 for the average car driver.
Alongside the cut, the Government said it would keep fuel duty rates under review, including carefully considering support for motorists, fiscal implications and the use of fuels.
Christian Williams, from online car competition BOTB, spoke to Express.co.uk about the Budget and how it would affect drivers in the near future.
He said: “Motorists have had it hard these last 12 months, with fuel at record prices and the price of cars – both new and second hand – rising quickly.
“The Government’s freeze on fuel duty is a bit of a helping hand.
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“But with the intended ban on combustion engines coming into force in 2030 the price of electric alternatives are still way out of reach for most people.”
Petrol and diesel prices continue to be volatile given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the current rate of inflation.
Although petrol and diesel prices have been falling in recent months, they are still causing issues for drivers, especially alongside the cost of living crisis.
However, Christian Williams did highlight how the Government completely omitted any mention of electric vehicles in the Budget speech.
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In the Spring Budget document, the Government does not reference electric vehicles, any grants to make EV ownership easier or improvements to the EV charging infrastructure.
He added: “More needs to be done to make electric vehicles not only affordable but easier to charge.
“As we saw over Christmas, the charging network isn’t fit for purpose and more investment is clearly needed if we’re going to transition to more environmentally-friendly methods.”
Many campaigners had called on the Government to cut the rate of VAT on public chargers from 20 percent to five percent.
This would bring public chargers in line with home charging and make refuelling more cost-effective for all EV drivers, especially those who don’t have access to a driveway.
Mr Hunt, the MP for South West Surrey, also announced a massive £200billion boost for the Potholes Fund to help communities deal with road issues.
This additional funding is on top of the £500million pledged every year used to maintain and improve local roads.
The increase is expected to fix the equivalent of up to four million additional potholes across the country.
It is hoped this will enable local authorities in England to fix more potholes, complete resurfacing and invest in major repairs and renewals.
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