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Osborne under fire over fuel duty

Chancellor George Osborne is under renewed pressure to abandon a planned increase in fuel duty, amid warnings that the rising price of petrol is putting household budgets under unprecedented pressure.

As MPs prepare to vote tomorrow on the planned 3p per litre increase due in January, the consumer organisation Which? said more people than ever are being forced to cut back on motoring costs.

Its latest poll found 85% of people expressed fears about rising fuel prices, a nine-point increase since July.

Those who said they would cut back on motoring costs rose seven points to 39% – another record high – while one in 10 said they had to use their savings to cover their motoring costs.

Overall, one in three people said they were finding it difficult to live on their current income, with 33% also cutting back spending on essentials last month. Some 44% said they were planning to cut back on food and groceries in the coming months.

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