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Annual fuel bills up £300 this year

PUBLISHED: 15:12 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:03 23 August 2010

SH1621-04	
12-09-05	
Gravesend	

Len Valsler from LV Transport , petrol crisis

SH1621-04 12-09-05 Gravesend Len Valsler from LV Transport , petrol crisis

A HAULAGE boss has condemned the government for hiking petrol prices by 2p a litre whilst the country is in the middle of a recession. This month the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, hit motorists with a petrol price hike of 2p per litre taking the average

A HAULAGE boss has condemned the government for hiking petrol prices by 2p a litre whilst the country is in the middle of a recession.

This month the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, hit motorists with a petrol price hike of 2p per litre taking the average price of a litre of unleaded to £1.05.

It is the third rise in nine months but the government said it is essential to bolster public finances.

Len Valsler, 62, owner of LV Transport, Norflok Road, Gravesend, says the rise will have a significant impact on the cost of running his fleet of 34 heavy goods vehicles.

He said: "It's disgusting. This is going to put our cost up £1,000 a month plus VAT. That's quite a lot of money and of course we will have to pass that cost on to the customers because we are operating at rock bottom prices because of the recession anyway.

"We are one of the last hauliers left in the area now. There's nobody else here. They have all folded over the last few years and I'd say a lot of it was down to the continuingly rising costs of fuel."

Petrol prices at the start of the year were around 85p a litre and are now set to top £1.10 per litre

The 25p rise means an increase of around £300 extra per year for the average car user.

With a further raise of 1p per litre planned for April 2010 Mr Valsler says the rises are likely to have a negative impact on the whole economy.

He said: "It has a big knock on effect every time they raise the price of fuel. Everything is affected because everything has to come by road no matter what it is so now all are going to see rises to cover this.

"It's going to go on and on. The government is just trying to claw back the money they have lost by bailing out the banks and this is just going to push inflation up even more."

The government says petrol prices have fallen over the last 10 years and that it is putting a number of measures in place to help support the haulage industry.

A Treasury spokesperson said: "Oil and pump prices are now significantly lower than the peaks seen last summer. In the Budget, the Chancellor announced a package of fiscal consolidation to support the public finances, of which fuel duty was one part, alongside a number of other measures.

"Fuel duty increases will also help to reduce harmful emissions and meet the government's environmental commitments.

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