The planned 3p rise in fuel duty in January has been cancelled, the Chancellor has confirmed in his Autumn Statement today.
The government had come under increasing pressure to scrap the rise, which would have hit motorists’ pockets by adding 3p to the cost of a litre of unleaded petrol and diesel from the start of next year. According to Chancellor George Osborne, this could save families from having to splash out an average of an extra £144 per year.
In effect, the fuel duty rise has only been deferred until August 2012, when another 2p rise was due to take place. That’s now been cancelled, so in effect fuel duty will only go up by 3p next year. Fuel prices will not necessarily remain constant, but rises will be at the whim of oil companies and petrol stations.
R&D tax credit system reviewed
The Chancellor also confirmed that the research and development tax credit system would be reviewed. The present system discourages UK companies from spending money on developing new products, and the automotive industry has joined other sectors in lobbying the government for a change to this system to stimulate growth and safeguard jobs.
“Reform of the R&D tax credit system propels the UK into a new league of global competitiveness sending a strong signal to international investors,” said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). “The UK is already a centre for innovation with advanced engineering and low carbon expertise attracting major corporations to invest in the UK; this reform will enhance the UK’s investment appeal, create high value jobs and drive economic growth.”