The U.K.’s opposition Labour Party will seek to amend Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s budget to delay a planned 3 percent tax increase on gasoline until next year to help motorists suffering from rising prices.
Labour Treasury spokesman Ed Balls called on the Conservative-led coalition to use savings from the London 2012 Olympics budget to fund the delay. He said the increase should come into effect next year, instead of August as now planned.
“If you postpone this until next year, that would cost half a billion pounds ($780 million),” the same amount as the Olympics will come in under budget, Balls told ITV’s “Daybreak” program today. “The economy is in recession, families are under real pressure. But also we’ve seen a 20 percent fall in the oil price since Christmas -- that is not reflected in the pump prices we’re all paying.”
Conservative Transport Secretary Justine Greening is considering legislation to force retailers of gasoline to pass on lower fuel costs to motorists, the BBC reported on May 30. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph on June 25, she said she would not press for a delay in the tax rise.
-- Editors: James Hertling, Simone Meier
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