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Brown gathering winter fuel windfalls

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07/12/2006

Chancellor Gordon Brown has resumed his attack on the nation’s motorists and haulage companies by raising fuel duty for the first time in three years.

From midnight, duty on a litre of unleaded petrol or diesel rose 1.25p to 48.35p. Many critics have queried whether this is the best investment he can make in raising extra revenue, given that the move could cost the haulage industry an extra £170m a year.

Simon Chapman of the Freight Transport Association said: “The Chancellor himself has said how important the logistics sector is for delivering future economic success to the country.

“Yet this decision suggests that he sees the industry as no more than a source of tax revenue that he can plunder with impunity. This shows just how out of step Britain is with the rest of Europe when it comes to the vital issue of UK investment and fuel duties. They pay just 22p per litre in diesel duty on the continent, which is well under half of what we have to pay.”

Private motorists too were seething. “I’m going to have to compare car insurance now to make up for the extra cash I’ll be shelling out on petrol,” said Dee Collier. “It seems that absolutely everything is taxed to the hilt in this country and these latest rises are proof of that. How high will fuel costs go?”

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