Fuel prices should be kept permanently high as a way of forcing drivers into smaller and more fuel efficient cars, according to the government’s climate change watchdog.
The Committee for Climate Change has advised the government that a minimum price for petrol and diesel should be introduced to make sure Britain meets its targets for emissions reductions.
“We know that people buy more efficient cars if the petrol price remains consistently high,” said the committee’s chief executive David Kennedy.
In its report to parliament, the Committee said that fuel duty needed to be increased to balance out reductions in oil prices and there should be a bigger gap between the cost of tax on the most and least polluting cars, with drivers of the most fuel efficient cars also qualifying for grants.
AA president Edmund King described the committee’s plans as “unrealistic”.
“People are already moving to more fuel efficient cars so there is no need to punish them by keeping the cost of fuel excessively high," he told The Times.