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A Conservative MP, Robert Halfon has spoken out to say that the planned rise in the cost of fuel should be scrapped. The planned increase for January 2012 of 3p a litre will have a detrimental effect on UK small business and people, who will have to pay another £1.50 to fill their car with fuel. Halfon wants the government to show that it will reduce taxes for all British people, and not just for the wealthy.

Following the signing of an e-petition by 110,000 people, Halfon urged the government to curb fuel rises. However, although MPs approved the motion, albeit without a vote, ministers don’t have to abide by the decision. Chloe Smith said that such decisions would be made in the Budget, although she acknowledged that the government were listening to the concerns of the public.

Mr Halfon launched the debate by saying:

“Fuel duty is not just about economics, it’s an issue of social justice and this is especially true in rural communities which are being destroyed by fuel prices.”

He went on to point out that in addition to ordinary working families being affected by the fuel increase, small businesses are heavily affected as they may rely on transport. Haulage companies are one of the sectors which are severely affected by fuel increases. As fuel companies refuse to extend credit agreements with hauliers, and sometimes wait only three days for payment, haulage companies can find themselves in financial difficulty, especially if they have to wait for payment of contracts. The high cost of fuel is another burden for small businesses to bear.

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