ERITH and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce is calling on the government to delay January’s petrol tax rise until April.

Tax on petrol looks set to increase by 3p from January 1 and Ms Pearce has accused the government of being out of touch with the rising cost of living.

She said: “Delaying the fuel duty rise would provide some much-needed financial relief for my constituents.

“Tory and Lib Dem MPs voted against a delay to the fuel duty rise earlier this month but I hope they will reconsider given the strength of feeling on this issue.”

The price of petrol is now more than £1.36 per litre in many areas, a rise of 15p since the coalition government came to power.

Labour is suggesting the government instead makes a £650 million saving by clamping down on identified tax avoidance loopholes.

It is estimated delaying the fuel tax rise would cost the exchequer around £350 million.