Another reason to quit the EU: Green taxes will force fuel price rise
A new ‘green’ fuel drive by the European Union could put petrol and diesel up by 4p a litre in the UK. Under a Brussels directive, one in every ten litres of fuel sold in Britain would be made up of sustainable alternative biofuels rather than fossil fuel by the end of the decade.
By Adam Walker
It is feared that this will have a significant impact on petrol and diesel costs at a time when world oil prices are already rising relentlessly.
Critics last night blasted the plans.
Peter Carroll, of the FairFuel UK campaign, said: ‘Many of our supporters have the environment at heart but before we can concentrate and invest in more environmentally friendly forms of transport, such as electric cars and better public transport, we need a secure economy that is stable and growing.
'Environmentalists do themselves a lot of harm by beating motorists with a stick on price. All this does is harm the hardworking individual without bringing in any realistic form of long-term change.
'How does this help the nurse who needs to dig in to her own pocket to pay for petrol to visit patients in rural areas because her fuel allowance won't cover the cost of the journeys? It's very naive.'
He added that as well as campaigning against the EU directive, FairFuel UK is also calling for the government to scrap the planned 3p price hike in August.
Mr Carroll argued that the level of duty on fuel in the UK should be brought down to the significantly lower level of other European countries - around 26 per cent - before any further costs are landed on motorists.
He said: 'Adding 3p per litre when the economy is on its knees, families are struggling to survive week by week and UK businesses are struggling borders on economic madness.
'A cut of just 2.5p per litre would boost growth by a much needed 0.33 per cent, create 175,000 jobs and crucially not harm Treasury revenues – the tax take on the stimulated economic growth compensates for the loss of Fuel Duty.'
Biofuels come from a range of sources, including plants, fermented organic matter, bacteria and chemical processes.
An initial Brussels directive in 2003 stated that 5.75 per cent of the energy in the transport sector across the EU had to come from biofuels or other so-called renewable energy sources by 2010. Tougher targets in 2009 dictated that a minimum of 10 per cent of fuel in the 27 EU member states had to come from renewable sources by 2020.
Biofuel technology is highly controversial and costly. Nick Griffin MEP and other critics have raised concerns that agricultural land previously used for growing food could be taken over by biofuel production, leading to widespread food shortages.