Planned petrol tax rise fuels debate

FRESH calls have been made for petrol prices to be cut in Daventry as MPs debate whether to scrap a planned increase in fuel tax.

The Government is planning to increase fuel duty by 3p a litre in January, meaning on average it will cost an extra £1.50 to fill up the average car.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon this week tabled a Commons motion to scrap the plans after 110,000 people signed an e-petition calling for action.

Petrol and diesel prices in Daventry are notoriously high because of the lack of competition from supermarket forecourts.

The lowest price currently available in the town is 136.9p per litre for unleaded and 140.9p per litre for diesel. In Rugby and Northampton some garages are offering fuel for 3p per litre less.

Linda Ball, who runs Linda’s Driving School in Daventry, said: “Petrol prices in the town are ridiculous, and if this rise happens it will have a big impact on businesses like mine. I already have to go to the petrol station almost every day so I really hope this doesn’t happen. I can’t keep putting my prices up for clients.

“There are people telling me already that they would love to learn to drive but can’t afford all the costs involved.”

Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris said he is torn about the proposed tax rise.

He added: “If the increase doesn’t happen the Government will have to find £1.5 billion from somewhere else.

“But I understand that Daventry is a rural area where people have to drive to get virtually anywhere. And when fuel bills go up it hurts people.

“Also lots of jobs in the area are logistics and freight based and they are very sensitive to high fuel prices. I’ve been struggling with this one because I don’t want people in Daventry to suffer and I want businesses to succeed.”

MPs are due to make a final decision on Tuesday, November 29.