FREEZE ON FUEL TAX; No rise till 2002..but it won't stop protests.Byline: JAMES HARDY James Hardy may refer to:
CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown will announce a freeze on fuel tax on Wednesday and spare motorists a possible 2p-a-litre rise on petrol.
But his pre-Budget statement will offer no reduction in duty to truckers and farmers who have set a November 13 deadline for a second wave of action. And although the tax-pegging will cost the Government pounds 600million, it is bound to infuriate the protesters whose blockades caused chaos in September.
Farmer David Handley David Handley is the leader of the militant pressure group Farmers for Action.
He was a leader of the fuel protestors in September 2000. He unsuccessfully challenged for the leadership of the British National Farmers Union and was backed by senior Conservative activists Mark , leader of the People's Fuel Lobby, is demanding a 26.2p cut in duty as a "starting point" to bring Britain into line with the European average.
But Mr Brown and Premier Tony Blair are determined to resist bully-boy tactics in their response on Wednesday.
Mr Brown will today make it clear he will not bow to "short-term" pressure - and yesterday Mr Blair outlined the devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. financial consequences of surrender.
On Wednesday, the Chancellor will promise a freeze in duty from next March's Budget to spring 2002 - extending to a second year if international oil prices stay at current record levels.
Mr Brown is also expected to sweeten sweet·en
v. sweet·ened, sweet·en·ing, sweet·ens
1. To make sweet or sweeter by adding sugar, honey, saccharin, or another sweet substance.
2. To make more pleasant or agreeable. the pill for drivers - particularly small-car owners - with cuts in road tax and new incentives to use "green" fuels such as liquid gas.
Lorry drivers who were given a big cut in excise duty in this year's Budget could see a further reduction on Wednesday.
Mr Brown first froze petrol duty in the last Budget by dropping the hated inflation-busting "fuel escalator" imposed by the Tories and widely blamed for high prices.
The new standstill will ensure no rise in fuel tax for at least 18 months and possibly until spring 2003.
However, Mr Brown is confident that the world price of oil - up from 10 dollars a barrel 18 months ago to more than 30 dollars - will soon start to fall.
He will also rule out on Wednesday using the Government's big surplus from extra tax and lower benefit payments, thought to be pounds 4billion-pounds 16billion, to pay for fuel reductions.
Pensioners are in line for a big increase to make up for last year's measly measly
said of beef, pork and mutton because infected meat has a speckled appearance thought to resemble measles (1) in humans. See also cysticercus. 75p.
At least pounds 5 for a single OAP OAP - Outside Awareness Port and pounds 8 for a couple is expected, with a pledge that no pensioner PENSIONER. One who is supported by an allowance at the will of another. It is more usually applied to him who receives an annuity or pension from the government. will have to exist on less than pounds 90 a week.
Old folk with modest nest-eggs will also benefit.
Mr Brown will tell the Confederation of British Industry The Confederation of British Industry is a not for profit organisation incorporated by Royal charter which promotes the interests of its members, some 200,000 British businesses, a figure which includes some 80% of FTSE 100 companies and around 50% of FTSE 350 in Birmingham today that Labour is determined to safeguard long-term stability.
He will pledge: "Even when tested by events like rising oil prices, our resolve will be constant."
Mr Blair warned yesterday of the knock-on effect on mortgages, education and pensions from large cuts in fuel duty.