Mayor of London Boris Johnson has called on the Government to “think seriously” about introducing a fuel duty stabiliser in the wake of rocketing petrol prices.
The Tory politician echoes the concerns of business leaders and motorists, who have also voiced support for a stabiliser to peg fuel duty to the price of oil.
This would meant that when the price of oil went up, the proportion of tax would go down, and vice versa, maintaining a steady price for consumers.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he said: “The price clobbers small businesses and makes life very tough for people in rural areas who don’t have access to good public transport…
“Petrol is cheaper in virtually every other European country than it is in Britain, and whatever the reason for the recent spikes, we cannot get around the fact that the spikes are jabbing the consumer all the more painfully because the Treasury takes about 60% of your fuel bill in excise.”
He added: “If I were the Government, I would think seriously about that fuel duty stabiliser, because when it costs more to fill your tank than to fly to Rome, something is seriously wrong.”
Prime Minister David Cameron reiterated his backing for a fair fuel stabiliser last week, despite Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander appearing to pour cold water on the idea.
Mr Cameron said there should be a mechanism to “share the pain” of oil price fluctuations between the taxpayer and motorist and confirmed the idea was being examined ahead of the Budget in March.
But the premier has accepted there may be difficulties in ensuring the Government protects its revenues overall.
Mr Johnson’s intervention comes amid growing concern over fuel costs, with petrol now over £1.30 a litre at many pumps.