Welsh Conservatives call for fuel duty cut to ‘insulate British people against the cost of freedom’
The Welsh Conservatives are calling on the Chancellor to cut fuel duty in this week’s Spring Statement to help families with the cost of living amid increasing diesel and petrol prices.
With National Insurance about to rise and the removal of the energy price cap pending, Wales’ Shadow Finance Minister Peter Fox MS has said that cutting prices at the pump will help people keep more of their money, allowing them to save more for “other essential expenditure.”
His comments come as sanctions on Russia, including the desire for many nations to divest from its oil production, in response to the war on Ukraine, have led to increasing prices at a time when global energy demand is high.
Pointing to the fact that Wales has the lowest gross disposable income of UK nations, he says that after 23 years of a Labour government in Wales, weekly Welsh pay packets are £59.60 lighter than those in Scotland despite being very similar in 1999
The cost-of-living crisis, deepened by the effect of Brexit, the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, is hitting families hard, with many seeing their energy bills doubled and grocery bills increase by a third.
Mr Fox argues that a cut on fuel duty would mean that prices at the pump would stabilise and also help boost the economy as businesses, like haulage firms, can remain competitive without spending significantly more on fuelling their fleets.
He goes on to say that the VAT share the Government takes from increasing costs would make up for the shortfall in duty while still helping consumers, and “insulate the British people” against the worst of the costs of the “fight for freedom”
He said: “We know that rising global demand for energy is creating a cost-of-living crisis and that the economic warfare the West is waging on Russia for their illegal actions in Ukraine will not make things easier.
“But the fight for freedom is not free and we must do our best to insulate the British people from the worst of it. If we do not, we risk losing their support in this generational battle against tyranny.
“The Welsh Conservatives believe that the Chancellor’s Spring Statement provides the right opportunity to protect the increasingly tight budget of families and businesses, and this can be done by a progressive cutting of fuel duty.
“This is a balanced approach that gives both taxpayers and the Treasury something to help weather the post-pandemic, economic headwinds, something we need in Wales more than anywhere after two decades of Labour’s failure to boost wages.
“Then, when this terrible conflict in Ukraine is over and Putin in punished for his crimes against humanity, we can confidently and proudly say that we stuck the course and did our bit to preserve freedom in Europe, and it was made easier by the action of a Conservative government.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.