UK road fuel tax freeze remains

Britain's pre-budget report rules out increase in road tax duties, as Ireland extends sulphur-free fuel incentives

"Volatile oil prices" mean the UK will not be introducing increased road fuel taxes in the coming financial year, according to the British government's pre-budget report. This means a plan to increase the tax differential in favour of sulphur-free fuels - one of the few green measures in the current year's budget (EED 17/03/04) - will therefore not be introduced.

Friends of the earth (FOE) said the decision pandered to the car industry and "severely jeopardises Government targets for tackling climate change," since lower-sulphur fuels increase fuel efficiency. Nonetheless, the pre-budget report also announces that the UK will make climate change a priority for its 2005 EU presidency.

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