Don't pump up fuel prices

August 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Rochdale MP Paul RowenMPs are demanding that the Government abandons plans to slap 2p on petrol and diesel from next week as the recession continues to bite.

The price at the pumps will increase from 1 September putting more pressure on already struggling motorists, taxi-drivers, families and businesses.

In recent weeks petrol and diesel has soared over the £1 barrier back to an average of 104p after a few months respite of lower prices.

Rochdale's drivers have until Monday night to fill their tanks to avoid the increase, announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling in his budget earlier this year.

While petrol prices have fallen from their height last year, they have not not been falling in line with reductions in wholesale oil prices.

A Commons motion in Westminster said the increase would have a huge impact on many people and urged Government to rethink its policy.

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen, who is supporting the Commons petition, said: "Household budgets which are already overstretched will be put under even more pressure.

"People cannot take more increases."

The MPs fear any additional cost will hit people on low and fixed incomes the hardest, and cause even more problems for already struggling businesses and people trying to keep hold of their jobs.

But the Treasury defended the rise. A spokesman said: "Oil prices are far lower now compared with the peaks seen last year. And we have seen significant reductions in the price of fuel at the pumps over recent months. The Government's announcements set out the changes to fuel duty in line with the Government's long-term policy of reducing emissions."

AA president Edmund King said it "defied all logic" for Government to go ahead with the hike knowing how families are struggling.