Andrew Gwynne MP has called on the Chancellor to cancel January’s planned 3p rise in fuel duty – at least until next April.

Andrew backed this policy at a vote in Parliament on Monday (Today). Labour has suggested that this move could be paid for by clamping down on tax avoidance.  This happens when employment agencies forcing workers to become employees of an umbrella company. They then falsely inflate the worker’s travel and food expense claims, reducing tax and national insurance, and pocket the avoided tax as profits.

HM Revenue and Customs has forecast that these schemes cost the exchequer £650m a year. Recent estimates have now put it as high as £1 billion a year. But Ministers have failed to take tough action to stop it happening. Even if only a proportion of that money was recouped it could pay for the fuel duty rise to be put off until next Spring.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“By acting now it would give some relief to millions of motorists. Petrol now costs an average of £1.36 per litre. That’s 5p higher than in the summer when George Osborne u-turned and agreed to Labour’s call to postpone August’s fuel duty rise. And it’s 15p higher than it was at the General Election.”

“And I am clear that now is not the right time to hit the economy with another tax rise on small firms and people on low and middle incomes.”

“The government needs to act and clamp down on those avoiding paying their fair share of tax so that millions don’t have to pay more. And I hope MPs from other parties will join us tonight in pushing them to do so.”

The previous Labour Government often delayed or cancelled planned duty rises based on the circumstances at the time – including at the height of the global financial crisis.  Labour are calling on the government to clamp down on those avoiding paying their fair share of tax so that millions don’t have to pay more.


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