George Osborne

Photograph: Paul Greenwood/BPI/REX

3) George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Fuel duty is the sixth-largest source of income for the Treasury, bringing in around £27bn. It also accounts for 63% of the average cost of a litre of diesel in the UK. But Osborne has frozen the tax for the duration of the last parliament, reducing the cost of fuel in real terms by 13% in the past five years.

It’s a big if that Osborne will be Chancellor come May, but the temptation to thaw the freeze for any incumbent in the position could be insurmountable, particularly if oil prices continue to do what they have done at the end of 2014.

The green case for fuel duty is strong: those who travel the furthest and ‘pollute’ the most pay more. Administratively it is a doddle to collect the tax at the pump. Politically, raising fuel duty is far easier than introducing further congestion charging and/ or toll roads.

Osborne sets the price of doing business as an operator in the UK, and doesn’t listen to operators concerns when doing so.





Over the next 20 days we will be counting down our Top 20. As ever, we’d welcome your feedback and input into the debate. Send us your thoughts on Twitter - @Motor_Transport - using the hashtag #MTPowerPlayers