New research from the AA shows that the UK is still levying the highest level of road tax in the European Union (EU), despite four years of frozen fuel duty. Fuel duty has been confirmed to stay frozen until after the general election and the AA has called for all the political parties to commit to a number of motorist-friendly policies as part of their manifestos.æ Policies requested include:
- A continued freeze on fuel duty until it at least matches the average of the three highest levels of fuel tax found within neighbouring EU countries.
- At least two-thirds of all fuel duty receipts being ring-fenced for use in improving and maintaining the UK road network, increasing the gritting coverage as well as helping to increase green motoring infrastructure, cycle ways and pavement safety.
Government figures show that the UK has consumed over 17.672 billion litres of petrol and 27.9 billion litres of diesel.æ 45.7 billion litres of road fuel sales currently generate around £26.5 million in duty. Two-thirds of the current fuel duty receipts could pump as much as £17.7 billion's worth of financing into the UK's roads: double the figures that are currently being spent.æ In 2013/14, £3.156 billion was spent on national roads, and £5.194 billion on local roads. Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that Highways Maintenance Funding will fall from £901 million next financial year to £801 million in 2017/18.æ £725 million is looking like the most likely figure for future years. Edmund King, the AA president, said: 'AA members appreciate that, with huge swings in the price of petrol and diesel since 2011, the government's freeze on fuel duty hasn't added to the burden on family and business finances. 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.î