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Leicestershire council boss Nick Rushton in fuel tax plea to Osborne


A council leader has issued a plea to the Chancellor on rising fuel prices.

Nick Rushton has placed a motion before Wednesday's full meeting of Leicestershire County Council calling on the Government to "recognise the increasingly harmful impact of transport poverty on necessary, everyday journeys".

His motion quoted figures from the RAC Foundation which showed 27 per cent of disposable income in the poorest households was now spent on buying and running a car.

He is also calling on the Government to recognise distribution is a key part of the county's economy and the consequent impact of high fuel prices on businesses.

Councillor Rushton said: "The idea of the motion is to put a line in the sand and let the Government know this is what Conservatives in Leicestershire think of the tax on fuel.

"If you've not had a pay rise for two or three years and see the price of everything going up, it makes life very tough."

The RAC Foundation's report revealed the poorest 10 per cent of car-owning households – roughly 800,000 in the UK – are in transport poverty, spending at least 27 per cent of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle.

Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "These figures should shock the Chancellor.

"It lays bare the truth about the extent of transport poverty in the UK."

Speaking about Wednesday's Budget, he said: "George Osborne is likely to tinker with the rate of fuel duty.

"For people already drowning under the weight of motoring costs, cutting a penny or two off the price of a litre of fuel will help but is ultimately futile.

"To make any meaningful difference to those on the lowest incomes, the rate will need to be cut much further."

Wayne Doherty, 35, of construction and fencing company E L Group, of Anstey, said: "I run 10 vans, so I've had to put my prices up.

"But people don't always want to pay the extra so you have to bite the bullet sometimes."

Lewis Allardyce, 24, of New Parks, who runs Boxtec, a not-for-profit amateur boxing organisation said: "It's affected us massively.

"When we go to shows we get paid expenses, but it doesn't cover your costs in getting there.

"I'm paying £100 a month insurance and £50 to £60 a week in fuel and with tax and tyres on top it's getting ridiculous."

Hasnein Dhirani, 37, of Anstey Heights, Leicester, who runs Wildcat Energy Drinks, said: "I was in Dubai and I filled a 4-litre car up for £17.

"I worked it out that it would cost £140 here.

"The price of a barrel of oil is going down but the price at the pumps keeps going up."

Michael Stevenson, 72, of Humberstone, Leicester, said: "I'm disabled and I need my car – it's a lifeline.

" I'm cutting back on food so I can carry on putting petrol in the car. I'm spending £30 a week on petrol which is a lot out of a pension."

Leicestershire council boss  Nick Rushton in fuel tax  plea to Osborne

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