The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling MP, today announced that he is postponing the 2 pence per litre increase in fuel duty that was expected to take place on 1 October 2008.As a result of this decision, main road fuel duty rates will remain at 50.35 pence per litre after 1 October this year. This is 17 per cent lower in real terms than in 1999.Consequential, planned increases in road fuel gases, biofuel duty rates and rebated oils rates will also be postponed.Alistair Darling said: “The global credit crunch and sharp rises in world oil prices have pushed up prices at the pump. Today’s decision will help motorists and businesses get through what is a difficult time for everyone.”This measure is taken in response to sharp rises in world commodity prices, with the price of oil almost doubling over the past year to reach a real-terms record high of $146 a barrel recently. This has inevitably had significant knock-on effects on the price of road fuels, which the Government is committed to taking into account when considering decisions on fuel duties.Postponing the planned increase in fuel duty is also consistent with the Government’s commitment to support the Bank of England in maintaining low inflation. Future rate decisions are a matter for the Budget.Tim Hutchings, Herts Chamber Chief Executive, said, " As we have been lobbying for some time for this to happen we are pleased to hear the announcement but frankly it is the very minimum the government should be doing. We would also like them to withdraw the current plans for increases in Road Tax and to also consider reductions in fuel duties".