Freeze on duty is a start – now cut the price of petrol
Drivers and businesses have welcomed George Osborne's announcement that the 3p fuel duty increase planned for January has been axed.
The duty freeze was one of a number of announcements made in yesterday's autumn budget statement – including an a 2.5 per cent increase in the state pension and a 1 per cent rise in child benefit.
While all drivers welcomed the move, many said it did not go far enough to help drivers on tight budgets.
Nilay Lad, 24, a mechanic, from Belgrave, Leicester, said: "I'm glad they have decided not to put it up, but I think they need to be doing something to lower the price of petrol – it's outrageous.
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"I spend about £25 to £30 a week on petrol and if it had gone up, it would be bad news for me – although it might make me drive a bit slower.
"It is terrible how much you have to pay for petrol in England, compared with other countries."
Brendan Allen, 27, a scaffolder, from Mowmacre Hill, said: "I'm happy they decided not to increase it but I think they've done it so we think the Government are doing us a favour.
"If they put it up there is nothing we can do about it – people aren't going to stop buying petrol to get to work, so we are powerless, really."
Part-time cabbie Omar Kiilo, 45, from Highfields, Leicester, spends about £65 a week fuelling his taxi.
"If the cost goes up, I cannot put my fares up because they are controlled by the council, so it is doubly bad," he said.
"I'm happy they aren't increasing duty, but I think they should be doing more to reduce fuel costs."
Haulage firm AAA Logistics, in Kibworth Harcourt, welcomed the move.
Managing director Claire Hart said: "It's good news. I mean, it's not going to make things better, but then again, at least it's not going to make things worse."
Lee Nicholls, joint owner of independent garage St Matthew's Service Station, in Humberstone Road, feels the Government had no choice but to back down over the increase.
"Well, it would be political suicide, wouldn't it," he said.
"I'm pleased, but not surprised. Had they put it up, our already tight margins would be squeezed even more."
According to website petrolprices.com, the cheapest place to buy unleaded fuel in the county yesterday was Asda at Fosse Park, where a litre cost 129.7p.
It was also the joint cheapest place to buy diesel, along with Asda in Barkby Thorpe Lane, Thurmaston, where a litre cost 137.7p.
Also included in yesterday's announcement was a plan to increase basic state pension by 2.5 per cent next year to £110.15 a week. Child benefit will rise by one per cent for two years from April 2014, and the threshold at which people start paying income tax will rise by £235 more than previously announced next year, to £9,440.
The threshold for paying 40 per cent income tax is to rise by one per cent in 2014 and 2015, from £41,450 to £41,865 and then £42,285.