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Sunak hints at fuel duty cut as he vows to ‘stand by’ struggling households

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R

ishi Sunak has pledged to “stand by” budget-squeezed households as he appeared to hint that help could be coming in the form of a fuel duty cut.

Soaring petrol prices are one of a number of escalating financial demands the public is grappling with, along with rocketing energy bills, widespread inflation and an increase in national insurance contributions from next month.

The Chancellor is under pressure to introduce further measures to soften the impact on already stretched budgets, with reports suggesting he could slash fuel duty in his spring statement on Wednesday.

During interviews on Sunday, Mr Sunak highlighted that as an MP representing a rural constituency in Yorkshire, he knows high prices at the pumps are “one of the biggest bills people face”.

Forecourt prices have risen sharply since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with global oil prices spiking.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak appeared to hint at a fuel duty cut (PA) / PA Wire

The latest figures show average prices are a record 165.9p per litre for petrol and 177.3p per litre for diesel.

The Conservative Chancellor told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: “Obviously I can’t comment on specific things (that will be in the spring statement).

“But what I would say, I understand that… I have a rural constituency, people are incredibly reliant on their cars and this is one of the biggest bills that people face, watching it go up.

“We’re all seeing that, when we’re filling up our cars.

“I get that, that’s why we’ve frozen fuel duty already.”

With the Government having frozen fuel duty for 11 consecutive years, Mr Sunak said he knows such action “really helps people”.

Labour said it would vote for a fuel duty cut but argued that ministers should be considering more radical measures to guard against cost of living demands.

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