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More diesel price hikes

26th August 1999
Page 7
Page 7, 26th August 1999 — More diesel price hikes
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

• by Sally Nash Hauliers should brace themselves for more diesel price hikes as the cost of crude oil continues to soar, warns PHH Vehicle Management Services.

Keith Greenhead, director of PHH's fuel management division, says recent increases could be followed by further rises in a few weeks' time, according to industry sources.

"It doesn't matter how you pay for diesel-prices will go up. It is likely haulage firms will be paying 2p more a litre the next time they buy a bulk load," says Greenhead.

Ai doubling in the price of crude oil over the past eight months has meant all fuel has gone up, including petrol, which has sparked a lot of newspaper coverage on the issue. Research by motoring organisation the AA shows that at the beginning of the year only 7% of motorists realised that 85% of what they paid for petrol goes straight to the Treasury but following the Budget's fuel duty

increases and hauliers' protests, 35% are aware.

Now the AA believes the Government is "beginning to realise" that continuing with its current fuel taxation policy is politically dangerous.

The AA, which holds regular meetings with Government, thinks the Treasury has got to "bite the bullet" and reform motoring taxation fundamentally.

"This is a Government desperate to get a second term (of office) and transport is one of the issues that might threaten that," says a spokesman. Jean Fleming, managing director of Reading-based skip and tipper firm Alan Hadley, likens the fuel tax to the poll tax which "undid Margaret Thatcher.

Fleming, who has been invited to take part in the Shadow Road Transport Forum, says: "If we can get the public to revolt then the Government will listen," But the Treasury insists the Government will not back down over the last Budget statement and adds that the contents of the next Budget is up for "speculation".


Organisations: AA
Locations: Reading

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