“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 said in his Budget speech.

But the rise is now scheduled to take place on 1 October, followed by another 1.84p/litre increase on 1 April 2009 and a further 0.5p/litre above inflation on 1 April 2010.