ECONOMY
Boris Johnson fails to rule out fuel duty rise

Boris Johnson has failed to rule out the possibility that fuel duty could rise this year, despite soaring prices already piling pressure on to motorists.

Fuel duty has been frozen for 10 years at 58p a litre – after a major campaign by newspapers – that is estimated to have cost the Treasury more than £50 billion in revenue.

Several Conservative MPs have argued it is essential to maintain the freeze if the Government is to make good on its pledge to level up the country, noting the high reliance on cars outside of London.

Asked on Tuesday morning about fuel duty, the Prime Minister failed to rule out a lifting of the prize freeze, saying instead: “We don’t want to raise tax of any kind.”

Cost of living crunch – key factors© Provided by The Telegraph Cost of living crunch – key factors

Mr Johnson would also not rule out a rise in the minimum wage, amid growing speculation he might use his speech to announce a new level. He would not be drawn on the prospect, insisting the Low Pay Commission “has to report in the normal way and we will look at what they say”.

It comes as the Government grapples with a cost of living crisis, with the price of food and fuel rising amid a shortage of HGV drivers. Commentators – including several Tory MPs – have warned that cutting the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit will exacerbate this problem during the winter.

But Mr Johnson rejected suggestions the benefit be maintained, telling LBC Radio: “What we won’t do is take more money in tax to subsidise low pay through the welfare system.”

On Tuesday morning the cost of fuel jumped to a fresh high as the crisis on forecourts across the country persists.

Pump prices rose by 0.91p per litre to 136.1p on Monday, according to figures published by the business department. This marks their highest level since Sept 2013.

The price of diesel climbed 1.25p compared to Sept 27 to 139.2p.

It comes after the Army was drafted to help assist with deliveries and tackle the ongoing supply issue hitting petrol stations up and down the country.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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