A leading trade association has called on the government postpone a 3p increase in fuel due to come into effect in January.
MPs are to debate the matter today, and it has been widely reported that Chancellor George may delay the measure.
Labour plan to force a vote in the House of Commons on the fuel duty rise this evening.
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. Its members supply £9 billion of materials and services to the £120 billion construction and other sectors.
A spokesperson told Central Lobby that it strongly supports a postponement or cancellation of the planned rises in fuel duties, which could cost the sector more than £11m a year.
“We cannot just continue loading production and manufacturing businesses with increasing costs and at the same time expect these industries to contribute to economic recovery,” the spokesperson said.
“We have included our concern about rising fuel duties in representations we have made to the government which highlight the significant cost and burden of regulatory costs on our industry.
“There comes a time when government really has to review the cumulative impact of these costs on business - we cannot simply assume that industry can keep absorbing such costs.
“Our industry markets will decline by 10% this year and we have seen no recovery since the depths of the 2009 recession - this is the time to be reducing the burden on business and not increasing it.”
The expected change in Treasury policy has been reported as a response to Tory MPs’ concerns about the cost of living.
A Treasury source told The Mirror:
“No promises have been made but we understand that petrol prices are a significant part of householders’ day-to-day spending – that’s why fuel duty is 10p a litre lower than under Labour’s plans. When possible we always help hard-working families.”