MPs Warn Environmentalism Will Hurt Working Class if Petrol Tax Raised

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts during an event to launch the United Nations' Climate Change conference, COP26, in central London on February 4, 2020. - Britain will bring forward a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035, including hybrids, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was to …
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Dozens of MPs warned the Chancellor of the Exchequer that ending the freeze on petrol duty because of the country’s environmental commitments will hurt the working-class voters who put the Conservatives into government.

The 36 backbenchers led by Robert Halfon have penned a letter saying they are “very concerned” by Rishi Sunak’s reported proposal to unfreeze fuel tax which would see the cost of petrol and diesel rise by two pence a litre. The letter was signed by senior Brexiteer Tories Sir Iain Duncan Smith, David Davis, and former transport secretary Chris Grayling.

The letter, delivered to the Treasury before the chancellor presents the budget on Wednesday, warned against “whacking normal folk hard with higher taxes on fuel” for the sake of environmentalism.

Mr Halfon told The Telegraph: “Fuel duty hits working people more than anyone else because people depend on their cars.”

He added: “Boris Johnson said during the election that there were no plans to raise fuel duty because he understood it has such a huge impact on people on low incomes. People trusted him on that.

“This Government isn’t just about Brexit, it’s about being the workers’ party. It doesn’t matter whether you’re blue collar or white collar — everyone will face the hit of a fuel duty rise.”

A poll by Fair Fuel UK revealed that nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of Red Wall voters who lent their support to the Conservatives would not vote Tory again if Sunak and Johnson raised taxes on vehicle fuel.

The notionally conservative government has adopted a number of left-wing environmentalist positions since being returned to power in December, with Breitbart London’s James Delingpole predicting that the Johnson government’s commitment to ‘net zero’ is “the new Remain” and will “destroy Boris’s Johnson’s administration in the way that Brexit destroyed David Cameron’s”. Delingpole wrote:

…Net Zero is the new Remain. The liberal elite who fought so hard to stop Brexit happening have now retreated to their second line of defence: the so-called ‘Climate Emergency’.

It will enable the Remain Establishment to do much the same thing it did when Britain was a member of the European Union: reward cronies; increase regulation; bump up prices; restrict freedoms; spend like a drunken sailor; crush the little people.

Sunak’s budget is likely to be replete with environmentalist provisions — coming at the cost of taxpayers — given the chancellor’s preview of the document when he tweeted this weekend: “Reaching net zero and ensuring we protect our natural environment. #Budget2020 is four days away.”

Mr Sunak was mercilessly ratioed in the comments with remarks from angry Britons over the government’s plans to take their power granted through the hard-won trust of working-class Brexiteers and handing it to green-progressive policymakers.

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