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Fuel duty rises 'must be scrapped'

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Motorists might be encouraged to hear that a leading car industry group has urged the Government to scrap its plans to increase fuel duty after warning that the cost of diesel could hit an "unthinkable" high of 140p a litre in April.

In a letter to Chancellor George Osborne, Brian Madderson, chairman of the Retail Motor Industry Federation's petrol division, has called on the Government to "halt the relentless rise in fuel prices".

Petrol already costs 128p a litre on average, while diesel is inching closer to its record-high of 133p a litre, Mr Madderson said.

On diesel, he said: "We anticipate a new high within days and expect the price to reach 140p a litre from April 1.

"Our unequivocal recommendation is that the Government now abandon the fuel duty 'escalator' principle as this is a legacy of your predecessors.

"We are mindful that the plan to increase duty yet again by 1p a litre in 'real terms' from April 1 will add a further 4-5p a litre to the retail price at the pumps for all grades of fuel."

Mr Madderson added that the average price of petrol could reach 136p a litre by Easter.

© Press Association 2011