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15 Nov 2012

This week Labour took the vote on whether the January fuel duty increase should go ahead or be deferred to the House of Commons. They lost by a majority of 48 votes.

Yet Conservative MP Robert Halfon, who has been a prevalent campaigner against high fuel duty levels and works with our friends FairFuelUK, actually voted against Labour.

So you’re probably asking why, if he campaigns so hard for postponing the fuel duty increase, has he voted against it in the House of Commons. Well it’s because the vote has no meaning.

Had Labour won the vote it would have been nothing more than an embarrassment for the party in power and the Treasury wouldn’t have been forced to act in any way – that’s how little it means.

So where does the land lie now with the hike? Well you might be able to see from Halfon’s vote that he feels not all is lost and there are whispers that the Treasury is still considering deferring the increase until April.

Halfon’s words on the matter: “I believe it is perfectly sensible and right to wait for the autumn statement, given the Government’s record, given that they cut fuel duty last year and given that they have stopped two fuel duty rises already.”

In other words, he hopes George and friends will still be deferring fuel duty, but either way he won’t be voting against his party. Silly party politics! What the transport industry and what the British public needs is these issues taken seriously with careful consideration of the detrimental impact they have on lives, businesses and our fragile economy.

We’re apolitical, but Labour was right when it said “nods and winks” from the Treasury that the delay may happen aren’t good enough. We need strong, decisive action! Next month is the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. Let’s see what becomes of those nods and winks.


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