RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Mr Osborne has clearly taken an opportunity to maintain the truce in the “war on motorists” whilst tying the hands of any new incumbent of No 11. Freezing fuel duty beyond the end of this Parliament is therefore a very shrewd move as it would be extremely unpopular for any future Chancellor to unfreeze it.
“Private motorists and businesses have benefitted considerably through both a cut and freeze in fuel duty in Mr Osborne’s time as chancellor. What we need now is a firm commitment from all political parties ahead of the election not to reverse his decision as soon as they take office as this would be a retrograde, harmful step that will lead to an increase in both household and business costs and dampen economic growth.
“We believe the duty freeze has made an important contribution to the economy and hope that any future chancellor will now understand its significance and therefore think twice before reverting to regular inflationary increases. The above inflation fuel duty escalator that operated between 1993 and 1999 is the primary reason, of course, that we now pay nearly 70 per cent in tax on every litre of fuel we buy at the pumps.
“While the Chancellor has cancelled September’s scheduled fuel duty increase we would ideally have liked to see him scrap the duty escalator altogether.”