Darling delays fuel duty hike

LONDON Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:53pm GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor Alistair Darling delayed on Wednesday a planned rise in fuel duty following intense pressure to scrap the increase after soaring oil prices sent the cost of petrol sharply higher.

Fuel duty had been scheduled to go up by 2 pence per litre in April. The rise will now be delayed until October.

"Fuel duty is due to rise again in April but because I want to support the economy now and help business and families I will postpone that increase until October," Darling told parliament in his first budget.

A six month delay in raising fuel duty could cost the government around 400 million pounds.

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