Thank you for contacting me about fuel prices.
I welcome the fact that the decision to freeze fuel duty for ten consecutive years has saved the average driver over £1,000.
Cars and motor transport are essential to many people here in Lincolnshire and I am very sceptical that any increase in fuel duty would be worthwhile. The Treasury assures me that all elements of taxation, including the various reliefs associated with any given tax, are kept under constant review. Any changes to fuel duty would be considered as part of the normal process leading up to the Budget. I shall be listening carefully to what the Chancellor has to say about motorists.
I welcome that for the first time since 1926, money raised through car tax (Vehicle Excise Duty) is now being spent directly on the roads. Around £28bn is being invested in England's strategic and local roads, an amount equivalent to all VED receipts. I was also very pleased to see the announcement in the recent Spending Review that £1.7 billion has been made available for local highway authorities in England (outside London) for 2021-2022 to improve the condition of local roads and associated infrastructure.
A new £2.5 billion Pothole Fund is running between 2020/21 and 2024/25 to help local authorities fill-in around 50 million potholes across the country and stop potholes forming in the first place.
I know the Chancellor is committed to conducting a review on reform of the aviation tax landscape and I look forward to seeing this review come to fruition in due course.
While I am aware of the arguments in favour of introducing an independent pump pricing watchdog, I do not believe such a move is necessary. I firmly believe that the most effective way to keep fuel prices down is through an open and competitive market. In 2013, the Office for Fair Trading investigated competition in the UK fuel sector and concluded that it was operating well. It should be highlighted that the Government works with numerous stakeholders to ensure that the fuel industry is competitive, so consumers benefit from low prices.
I firmly believe that the most effective way to keep fuel prices down is through an open and competitive market.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP