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Jennie Johnson

Fuel duty frozen

Fuel duty has been frozen by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

It was a move that was widely expected by many, and earlier this year Osborne himself said that he would like to freeze duty if he “could find the money”.

Speaking to a packed House of Commons while revealing details of the Autumn Statment, Osborne said that compared to the previous Government’s plans, petrol will cost 20p a litre less, which is equivalent to £11 every time a motorist fills up.

“A saving for drivers over this Parliament of £680 and double that for a small business with a van,” he added.

Osborne said that cancelling fuel duty rises has been a "major priority of the Government".

However, Lucy Burnford, founder of Motoriety.co.uk, described the freeze as a “red herring”.

She added, “A decrease in fuel duty would be a real win for motorists. The freeze is merely a token gesture because the effect will be a drop in the ocean when it comes to the overall cost of keeping a car on the road.”

"The Government needs to recognise that more cost-cutting measures are needed to alleviate financial pressure on consumers and businesses that rely on their vehicles. Plans such as the one to install petrol price comparison signs along major routes simply don't go far enough.

The move follows news that the tax disc will be replaced by a new electronic system that will come into force in October 2014. This will also give motorists the option to pay vehicle excise duty by monthly direct debit.

Burnford said that the move towards an electronic tax system acknowledges the long-standing issue of car admin and paperwork that has blighted car owners for years.

“It’s a win for motorists who, already facing extortionate prices at the pumps, need easier ways to manage the other financial pressures of car ownership too.”

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