THE UK has the highest road fuel tax levy in the EU despite four years of a fuel duty freeze.
Research by the AA shows British drivers pay 69% of a litre of fuel to the Treasury.
Fuel duty was frozen at 57.95p in March 2011 but no other EU country’s motorists pay a higher rate.
Ahead of Wednesday’s budget, the AA is challenging all political parties to make driver-friendly pledges in their manifestos for the May general election.
They want all politicians to commit to a continued freeze on fuel duty – at least until it matches the average of the three highest levels of fuel tax in neighbouring EU countries.
They also want two-thirds of fuel duty receipts to be ring-fenced for road improvements, maintenance, better gritting coverage, street lighting, green motoring infrastructure, cycleways and safer pavements.
AA members have also called for two-thirds of fuel duty to be invested in roads – financing road resurfacing, repairs, drainage, cycleways, electric car infrastructure and other developments that would make road travel and mobility safer, cheaper, more reliable and less polluting.
Edmund King, the AA’s president, said members “appreciate that…the Government’s freeze on fuel duty hasn’t added to the burden on family and business finances”.
He added: “But the fact that UK drivers still pay the highest level of fuel tax in the EU shows just how massively pumped up fuel duty was before the Coalition froze it.
“It still generated more tax for the Government than business rates and only £400 million short of council tax receipts in 2013/14.
“Consequently, so many drivers are saying, rather than a cut in fuel duty, we want a continued freeze and more of it spent on what it is supposed to do: keeping UK roads fit for purpose, upgraded to meet new demands and making them safer.
“Drivers are sending out a strong message to all political parties that they could vote with their wheels unless there are clear commitments to fair taxation and expenditure.”