Drivers pay more tax on petrol even after duty cut

  • Drivers shelling out £44 per tank on taxes as petrol prices soar
  • Brits paying more in taxes per tank than most European countries
  • New poll finds one in two blame government for petrol price rises
Petrol, Gasoline, Diesel, Gas, Automotive, Prices, Oil

British drivers are paying £44 in tax on petrol every time they fill up their car, new figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

Most motorists in the UK are forking out more in taxes per tank for petrol than most other European countries, including Ireland, Italy and Spain. Meanwhile diesel drivers are paying over £45 in taxes per tank, more than anywhere else in Europe.

Brits paid 80p a litre in taxes on unleaded petrol in April 2022 as prices continue to soar. For a typical car with a 55 litre tank, the Treasury is cashing in on £44 each time someone fills up at the petrol pump. Even after Rishi Sunak’s fuel duty cut, people were paying 55p more in taxes each time they filled their car than last April, and £2.20 more than two years ago.

The research is based on official figures published this week by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. These show the price of unleaded petrol in the UK compared to other European countries in April 2022.

Half of all voters blame Government

A new poll commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed one in two (52 per cent) blame the Government for rising petrol prices.  The polling even finds one in three (33 per cent) Conservative voters blame the Government for high petrol prices. Two in three (67 per cent) Labour voters and more than one in two (55 per cent) Liberal Democrats agree. 

Liberal Democrats say the figures show that the Chancellor is ‘cashing in’ from soaring prices at the pumps. The party is calling for an emergency cut to VAT to 17.5 per cent, saving families an average of £600 a year by slashing prices in the shops and at the petrol pump.

“It is rural communities I fear for most”

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

“Hard-pressed families and pensioners are facing a summer of agony at the petrol pump. Meanwhile Rishi Sunak is cashing in as drivers fork out over £40 a tank in taxes. It is rural communities I fear for most with fuel prices at record highs. Those commuting longer distances to work are seeing more of their income go on fuel just as the cost of living crisis worsens. 

“Conservative ministers have been a complete shambles on this. This Government is arrogantly refusing to cut VAT, just like they refused for months to put a windfall tax on oil companies. This tax cut must be their next U-turn.” 

Note: Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,674 UK adults aged 18+ online between 20 and 23 May 2022. Data were weighted to be representative of the UK by age, sex, region and social grade.

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