Motorists may be struggling to pay for fuel, but one think tank is actually urging the government to increase fuel duty. A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has claimed the ‘war on motorists’ is a figment of the UK’s imagination, and has called on the government to go ahead with fuel duty increases to fund public transport improvements.
The IPPR report found the cost of motoring had increased by 32.5 per cent between 1997 and 2010, compared with an increase in rail, and bus and coach fares of 62.2 per cent and 76.1 per cent, respectively.
Will Straw, son of Jack Straw and IPPR associate director said in the report: “No number of Taxpayers’ Alliance petitions will change the facts. Compared to users of public transport, there is no war on motorists. Rail and bus users have seen fares spiral out of control while the cost of driving has actually fallen over the last decade.”
The think-tank said the delay in fuel duty rises will cost our economy £14 billion and urged the government to implement extensions of road tolls and congestion charges, the Daily Mail reported.
“Given the pressures on the public purse, the Chancellor should avoid further delays in fuel duty and think again on rail fare hikes,” Straw added.
Believing more accessible public transport to be the answer to the UK’s travel woes, the IPPR suggests the priority should be on improving bus and coach services. “Users of public transport rarely have an alternative, while car drivers can switch to smaller and more fuel-efficient cars and cut out non-essential journeys.”
On the flipside, there are many groups who understand public transport isn’t aways an option – particularly for those who live outside of city centres. One such group, the Taxpayers’ Alliance, argued: “It is easy for ivory tower think-tanks to lecture people from Westminster, but the reality outside city centres is that people need to drive.”
It added: “The best way to help passengers on the trains isn’t hammering drivers who already pay more tax, as a share of the price at the pump, than in any other EU country.”
Those against an increase in fuel duty also argue that pricier fuel doesn’t just affect car owners. Supermarket lorries carrying your food will have to make up the difference somewhere, so there’s every chance the price of our groceries – and just about everything we buy – may also increase.
Does the IPPR report make your blood boil, or is it saying something no one else has been brave enough to say? Let us know below.
Source: Daily Mail
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