Petrol and diesel 'to go up by 12p-A-LITRE' - Secret plan to raise nearly £6 BILLION buried in official Budget documents

EXCLUSIVE: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt failed to mention massive planned 23 per cent hike in fuel duty in today's Autumn Statement

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FUEL duty could increase by a staggering 12p-a-litre sending the cost of petrol and diesel soaring within months.

The huge 23 per cent increase - the first time fuel duty will have gone up since 2011 - could kick in from the end of March next year. Despite raising a potential £5.7 billion for the Treasury, the mammoth move was not even mentioned in today's Autumn Statement.

Jeremy Hunt is planning to increase fuel duty by a record 23 per cent
Jeremy Hunt is planning to increase fuel duty by a record 23 per cent

Instead Chancellor Jeremy Hunt chose to keep the move - described by the Office for Budget Responsibility as "planned" - quiet, focusing on more minor, less controversial tax changes, such as introducing vehicle excise duty on electric cars.

Buried in the Autumn Statement documents, the OBR states: "The planned 23 per cent increase in the fuel duty rate in late-March 2023...adds £5.7billion to receipts next year.

"This would be a record cash increase and the first time any Government has raised fuel duty rates in cash terms since 1 January 2011.

""It is expected to raise the price of petrol and diesel by around 12 pence-a-litre."

GB News presenter Liam Halligan, who spotted the planned increase buried deep in the OBR documents, said: "It looks like Tory MPs' calls for a fuel duty freeze failed."

Earlier this week the AA pleaded with Mr Hunt to extend the 5p cut in fuel duty amid the “nightmare” of high costs for motorists.

The AA said when then-chancellor Rishi Sunak announced earlier this year that the 5p fuel duty cut represented the biggest cut ever, it was set to remain in place until March.

GB News presenter Liam Halligan spotted the enormous increase buried in the OBR documents
GB News presenter Liam Halligan spotted the enormous increase buried in the OBR documents

The motoring organisation was pushing for the reduction to be extended beyond March due to the continued high pump prices and the cost-of-living crisis.

But that bid looks to have failed, with the huge potential increase now as little as four months away.

A Treasury spokeswoman told GB News: "The 23% figure came from the OBR not the Treasury, it’s based on forecasts that are subject to change.

"The existing 5p cut will remain in place until March 2023. This is a tax cut which is worth £2.4bn.

"Final decisions on fuel duty rates will be made at the Spring Budget."

It came as Mr Hunt announced electric vehicle owners will be hit by a new tax from April 2025.

Owners of EVs who currently pay no VED will face an annual charge of up to £165 for cars and £290 for vans, much higher than many heavily polluting diesel vehicles.

Mr Hunt said the so-called 'Tesla Tax' will “make our motoring tax system fairer” as the OBR has forecast that half of all new vehicles will be electric by 2025.

VED is a tax levied on UK vehicles which depends on when they were first registered and their carbon emissions.

The Treasury said the changes are estimated to raise an extra £1.6 billion by 2027/28.

Ian Plummer from Auto Trader said: “The prospect of additional running costs will drive more would-be buyers away from EVs when other incentives are being scrapped."

AA president Edmund King said the move will “slow the road" to electrification.

He said: "This may delay the environmental benefits and stall the introduction of EVs onto the second-hand car market.

“Unfortunately, the Chancellor’s EV taxation actions will dim the incentive to switch to electric vehicles.”