‘Block rise in petrol taxes’

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LOCAL business leaders have asked the Government to cut fuel taxes in next week’s budget.

The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said petrol and diesel costing more than 130p a litre was hitting businesses and the general public hard.

Chamber head of policy Steven Leigh has met Chief Secretary to the Treasurer Danny Alexander and Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker to put forward the concerns of his members.

Mr Leigh said companies needed a helping hand in difficult times.

“The chamber is trying to lobby for something meaningful and business friendly,” he said.

“Escalating fuel prices and job taxes are not the way to do it.”

The chamber also wants the Government to act in rebalancing the economy in favour of manufacturing, improving tax allowances for companies and extra help for exporters.

Mr Leigh told Mr Alexander small firms still faced problems accessing bank finance and there was a need for financial incentives for companies to take on new employees.

He also told Mr Alexander the coalition had the opportunity to practice its message “we are all in this together” by taking action on fuel prices.

The chamber wants a planned fuel tax hike blocked and a fuel-tax equaliser implemented to stop excessive increases in the price of fuel at times of volatility in world oil prices.

“The price of fuel affects the whole economy, and further taxation at this time will inevitably add to inflationary pressures - which are already a cause for great concern,” said Mr Leigh.

“And, at a time when the country needs to encourage growth and create employment any increased ‘jobs tax’ in the form of Employers National Insurance contributions doesn’t make sense.”

How has the escalating cost of fuel affected you? Email yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk