Pump freeze welcomed

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Business organisations have welcomed the Government’s decision to postpone the 3p fuel duty increase that had been planned for August.

Gerry Jones, chairman of the Institute of Directors in the South West, said: “In our pre-budget survey, freezing fuel duty was at the top of our members’ wish-lists for improving the UK’s competitiveness, so this is welcome news.

“Increasing the cost of making deliveries or of staff getting to work was only going to harm the economy, and many will be relieved that the rise has been cancelled. The Chancellor has made the right decision, and the wheels of commerce will turn more smoothly as a result.”

Ann Vandermeulen, development manager for the FSB in Cornwall commented: “This will be some relief to businesses locally but fuel is still a really big overhead. Every little helps however, so this recognition of the elephant in the room is a step forward.

“We will continue to lobby on this issue as there is more to be done but we could not be anything but pleased with this announcement.”

CBI deputy director-general Dr Neil Bentley added: “This decision will be welcomed by hard-pressed families and businesses across the country. A fuel duty freeze will help to support road hauliers and freight transport operators, making delivering our goods that bit more affordable, and supporting the economy during the challenging months ahead.”