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The Tory plan for a fuel duty stabiliser will be a welcome relief for drivers as petrol prices hit an all-time high

Picture 7 It was back in 2008 that George Osborne first announced Tory plans for a fuel duty stabiliser - an idea which was first proposed by Andrew Lilico.

The idea is simple: when the oil price is high, the fuel duty will be lowered, and vice versa.

And little would George Osborne have known in 2008  that the 2010 general election would be fought at a time when the price of petrol would be hitting an all-time high at £1.20 a litre - nearly £6 a gallon in "old money".

And today's Telegraph suggests that right now the introduction of the fuel duty stabiliser would probably see the price of petrol at the pump today being reduced by 10p a litre under the Conservative plan:

"The move will be funded from the increased taxes the Government raises from other levies on oil companies when wholesale prices rise... However, it is likely to prove controversial when oil prices fall as fuel duty will rise again."

"The details of the scheme – including the price at which petrol will “stabilise” – will be the subject of a consultation launched soon after a Conservative election victory. It is expected to be launched within months if Mr Cameron is successful.

"Last night, a senior Conservative source said: “We are very straight with people. This is not a tax giveaway – instead it is a sensible, balanced policy that protects families from big increases in the oil price. When the oil price rockets, the tax falls and the petrol price at the pump stays stable – and vice-versa when the oil price falls.”

The public anger at the cost of petrol should not be underestimated and this policy provides another popular doorstep-ready policy for Conservatives to take to the electorate.

Jonathan Isaby

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