Scrapping of fuel rise welcomed

By Tim Clarke Friday 07 December 2012 Updated: 10/12 09:27

MOTORISTS in Worcester have been given an early New Year boost after the Government revealed it is to scrap a 3p rise in fuel duty which was scheduled for January.

Chancellor George Osborne made the announcement during Wednesday’s (December 5) Autumn Statement and the move was welcomed by Worcester MP Robin Walker who has campaigned for a cut in duty.

“I was absolutely delighted he hasn’t just postponed it, he has actually cancelled it completely and that will make a big difference to many people,” he said.

“I would love to see it actually come down in the longer term but I think that is more likely to be an argument for when more money is available.”

The basic state pension will rise by £2.70 a week and personal tax allowances will be increased to £9,440, lifting another 22,000 people in the West Midlands out of tax. There will also be £5billion invested over two years in infrastructure projects, including £1billion to improve schools.

But austerity measures will continue until 2017/18 - a year longer than planned - with the economy expected to shrink by 0.1 per cent this year, while most benefits will rise by just one per cent, less than inflation, over the next three years and there will be a two per cent cut to local government funding in 2014.

Joy Squires, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Worcester, also welcomed the scrapping of the fuel duty rise but said thousands of families in Worcester would continue to face uncertainty until the economy started to grow again.

“There was no plan for growth in this statement and no grounds for optimism that life will get any easier in the near future,” she added.

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