Ministers have been warned that Britain is heading towards ‘de facto lockdown’ as soaring fuel prices make it impossible for people to fill up with petrol.
Senior Tory MP Robert Halfon said parents would soon no longer be able to send their children to school while workers would struggle to get to work.
He spoke in the House of Commons against the backdrop of calls for the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to cut fuel taxes to help those facing a cost of living crisis.
The Republic of Ireland has cut fuel tax by 20p (17p) a liter on unleaded and 15p (13p) on diesel – and the UK is under pressure to follow suit.
Senior Tory MP Robert Halfon said parents would soon no longer be able to send their children to school while workers would struggle to get to work due to soaring fuel prices.
Speaking at a question of Transport, Mr Halfon, said: “In Ireland, it’s been a very happy day for St Patrick because they cut the fuel tax over the past week.”
On the contrary, he said: ‘We are headed for a de facto shutdown where parents cannot afford to send their children to school, where workers cannot afford to commute by car and I have to stay at home. “
He asked if the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, would ‘make a call to the Treasury Department to cut fuel taxes in a round of spending next week’.
Mr Shapps replied: ‘I will, of course, have further conversations with my esteemed friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but will leave it to him to decide on further measures.’
Prices have risen amid Russia’s fallout from its invasion of Ukraine with the result that it costs almost £100 to fill a trunk of a diesel car.
The RAC said unleaded petrol hit a new high of 165.4pa litres on Wednesday, up about 14p a litre in about two weeks. The figure for diesel is up around 21p a litre over the same period to 176.76p.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘It’s still important that the Prime Minister takes some action at next week’s Spring Statement to help ease the burden on motorists, by either a tax cut from the current 58p/litre or a reduction in VAT which currently amounts to around 28p a litre.
‘Other countries have stepped in to help ease the impact of rising fuel costs on households and businesses, so we urge the UK to follow suit.’
Fuel prices have risen amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with the result that it costs almost £100 to fill a tank of a diesel car.
The Petroleum Retailers Association is calling on the Prime Minister to follow the example of other European countries and cut fuel taxes to protect consumers from international events.
Gordon Balmer, chief executive of PRA, said: ‘It is vital that the Government take steps to reduce the energy price burden on consumers.
‘Government inaction is currently affecting our members in NI who are unable to compare the prices of their counterparts across the border. We strongly urge the Prime Minister to follow the example of other European countries and cut fuel taxes. ‘