The Director of one of the island’s biggest fuel suppliers is calling on the Treasury Minister to cut fuel duty by 2.5p with “immediate effect” to help islanders with the rapidly escalating cost of living.
The cost of petrol and diesel has sharply risen following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Between 1 March and 12 April, average petrol prices rose from 139.9 pence per litre to 151.9p, while diesel went from 140.9p to 155.9p.
ATF is now calling for a temporary fuel duty cut of 2.5p per litre and an additional 3p per litre cut for biofuels, and want to see the idea brought forward and agreed by States Members this week at the final Assembly meeting before the elections.
After that, no new proposals will be able to be voted on until July.
Pictured: Fuel prices have soared since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Director Jon Best said: “International fuel prices have increased by over 30% since the start of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Last month, the UK Government reduced fuel duty for petrol and diesel by 5 pence per litre across the whole of the UK for 12 months. Ireland also reduced fuel duty by approximately 17 pence per litre.
“At ATF we have done everything we can to mitigate the fuel increases but more needs to be done to support Jersey consumers now.”
He continued “The government has the fiscal flexibility to make this reduction now given the increased revenues from GST arising due to the increase in fuel prices. Fuel duty increased to 63.89 pence per litre in January 2022. We are proposing an immediate fuel duty cut of 2.5 pence per litre as a temporary measure for the coming months, which we believe equates to the additional GST being received.
"...The reduction on fuel duty can be introduced before the impending election and the purdah period. We have written to the Treasury Minister this morning setting out why we believe this proposal is a win for government and consumers.”
The Consumer Council has also argued that fuel duty should be cut - in their view, by 9p per litre at the pumps - and that every household should be given £100 credit towards their bills to ease inflationary pressures.
External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst, meanwhile, previously told Express's weekly Politics Disassembled podcast that he would wish to see a 10p per litre reduction in fuel duty before the elections.
She said she believed that a cut would most likely only benefit "middle Jersey" - "people with two, maybe three cars, and they can afford it" - rather than those who most need financial assistance. Deputy Pinel also emphasised that slashing duty would mean less money for the Climate Emergency Fund.
Defending the Government's track record on helping those on lower incomes, she went on to emphasise that the tax threshold had been raised to £16,500 of income, which is "considerably more" than Guernsey or the UK.
ATF shared its letter to the Treasury Minister with Express...
I am writing to you on behalf of ATF fuels to ask the government to consider a reduction of fuel duty of 5.5ppl to support consumers.
We believe that the government has the fiscal flexibility to support a reduction as government will have had an unexpected revenue upside from the GST component of the escalating fuel and food prices.
Consumers have faced an increase in price across a range of fronts.
Food and other costs have risen significantly over the last number of months. The international fuel situation has changed dramatically following the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has led further driven fuel prices to some of their highest prices in decades.
At the same time, ATF fully supports the transition to more renewable fuels to help our drive towards a carbon neutral future.
On that basis we are proposing the following:
Given the impending election and the purdah period that will precede it, government needs to act now to help consumers facing these costs increases over the coming months which will support consumers until a new government has been elected and is in place.
We would, as always, be happy to discuss further with you and your officials.
Jon Best was recently the guest on Express’s weekly news podcast…
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