By Daniel Hunter

Following this morning's reports that Labour would push to have the 3p-a-litre rise in fuel duty, set for August, pushed back, it has been announced the levy has been frozen for the rest of the year.

Chancellor George Osborne made the announcement today (Tuesday), following pressure from the Labour party and a campaign by road users' groups, who argued the change, announced in the Budget, would damage the economy.

Fuel duty will be frozen for the rest of the year, the chancellor told MPs.

"We are on the side of working families and businesses and this will fuel our recovery at this very difficult economic time for the world," Mr Osborne said.

The Forum of Private Business has welcomed the news.

“On the back of months of record high fuel prices, a 3p increase would have really stuck in the craw of motorists who have been paying crazy money to fill up for far too long," Phil Orford, the Forum’s Chief Executive, said.

“High fuel prices affect everyone, but for small firms in particular they are a crippling barrier to business when what we need is growth, not more punishing taxes to further hamstring the economy.

“There was simply no logical case for the Chancellor to press ahead with another duty rise while the economy is bouncing along the bottom as is currently the case. Quote frankly this is the best piece of news for small firms since the Budget.”

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