Britons are facing a £10 billion hike in annual petrol and diesel costs as “soaring” prices put the squeeze on working families, Labour has warned.
The party reiterated its call for an “emergency budget” to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, with a cut to energy bills funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
Labour said the cost of a litre of unleaded petrol rose by 37p over the past year, based on figures from April 19 2021 and April 21 2022.
The Conservative Government needs to set out an emergency budget to tackle its cost-of-living crisis – and support Labour’s call to put money back in the pockets of working people
For diesel, the rise was 47p over the same period, the party said.
Factoring in the number of cars per household in the UK, along with averages for distance travelled and fuel used, it calculated that drivers face spending an additional £6 billion on petrol and £4.2 billion on diesel this year, compared to the last.
The Chancellor cut fuel duty by 5p in his spring statement, but Labour said this had been “swallowed up” by “soaring” costs.
Labour’s shadow secretary of state for transport, Louise Haigh, said: “This is a savage extra cost for working people.
“Labour’s plan would help households through this crisis with up to £600 cut off energy bills, funded by a one-off windfall tax on the booming profits of oil and gas producers.
“We would turbocharge our transition to clean transport so never again are the British people left so exposed to unstable foreign oil.”
While we can’t shield everyone from the global challenges we face, we're supporting British families to navigate the months ahead with a £22 billion package of support this financial year
A Government spokesperson said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, and while we can’t shield everyone from the global challenges we face, we’re supporting British families to navigate the months ahead with a £22 billion package of support this financial year.
“We are saving the typical employee over £330 a year by raising the national insurance contribution threshold and we have introduced the largest ever single increase in the National Living Wage, while lowering the Universal Credit taper rate to help people keep more of the money they earn.
“We are providing millions of households with up to £350 to help with rising energy bills and expanding the eligibility for the Warm Home Discount, which will provide around three million low-income and vulnerable households across England and Wales with a £150 rebate on their energy bills every winter.”