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TV host calls for fuel duty cut

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Quentin Willson, the TV presenter and motoring expert, has urged the Government to lower fuel duty to help drivers hard hit by rocketing petrol prices and car insurance premiums.

At the launch of a campaign by FairFuel UK, he said unless urgent measures are taken to arrest the price surge, the economy risks slipping back into recession.

He said the pressure on motorists has only increased post Budget, and the 1p reduction in duty announced by the Chancellor never really benefited the drivers as it was soon offset by the steady rise in oil costs.

Among the demands he raised were: a freeze on fuel duty increases for the duration of this Parliament, an effort to bring down the taxation to levels in Europe in the medium to long term, and a better replacement for the fuel stabiliser announced in March to keep forecourt prices constant.

Willson said: "The Government cannot just stand by and see the rising cost of fuel push us back into recession. If they don't act, I can see the £1.60 litre, the £1.80 litre and, heaven forbid, even the £2.00 litre."

He warned that "doing nothing will invite the twin catastrophes of the economy going into reverse, with all the suffering that entails, together with a distressing outbreak of direct action from people and groups less responsible than ourselves."

A Treasury spokeswoman said: "The Chancellor has been clear that the British Government does not control the world's oil price. But by cutting duty and deferring the planned rise, a litre of fuel is 6p cheaper today than it would have been if we had not taken action. There is no doubt that this is welcome relief for families and businesses across the country."

© Press Association 2011