'A row broke out over fuel duty yesterday after petrol prices hit a four-year high.
Chancellor Philip Hammond suggested on Tuesday that an eight-year freeze in the levy was coming to an end.
But motoring groups warned such a move would harm businesses, hit families and damage Conservative Party fortunes.
They said drivers were already paying £40billion in taxes for ‘Third World’ roads. And they pointed out that pump prices have risen for ten weeks in a row.
It is thought Mr Hammond, who needs £20billion for an NHS spending boost, could unveil a duty rise in his autumn budget.
The freeze has been saving the typical motorist around £160 a year.
With the oil price surging – it hit a 2018 high of $80 a barrel yesterday – the cost of unleaded has risen to £1.30 a litre and £1.34 for diesel.
Filling up the average tank now costs more than £70 – the most since July 2014 and up to £18 more than just two years ago.
Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, claimed a duty hike would be seen as ‘opportunism from an out-of-touch Chancellor’. He added: ‘Mr Hammond is playing Russian roulette with his party’s electoral fortunes by threatening a duty hike on hard pressed drivers.’'
Read more: How much more can drivers take? Petrol prices hit four year high and cost of fuel rises for tenth week in a row …now Chancellor hints at £160-a-year fuel tax raid on all of us
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