In a dramatic move intended to demonstrate his resolve and consistency, George Osborne is set to follow through on his summer consultation over introducing a fuel tax stabiliser, and will call for an increase in fuel duty.
As he said when launching the policy idea on 6th July:
[This is] A common sense plan to help families, bring stability to the public finances and help the environment by making the price of carbon less volatile.
The plan stated:
If a Fair Fuel Stabiliser had been introduced at the 2008 Budget, fuel would now be 5p per litre cheaper, shaving £3.50 off a tank of fuel for a Ford Mondeo.
But if, instead of rising, oil prices had fallen below the $84 forecast in the Budget, then fuel duty would have risen. [Source: official Conservative Party news release.]
With the price of oil now at $54, a full $30 below the policy’s trigger level for increasing fuel duty, George Osborne will attempt to see off his critics who see him as inconsistent and failing to come up with credible policies that will stick. He will be urging Gordon Brown to introduce an immediate increase in fuel duty.
Oh ok, he won’t be, will he? But I bet he’s hoping we’ve all forgotten that under those summer proposals, a Conservative government would now be increasing fuel duty…