Motorists laid siege to the petrol station at Asda supermarket, Chandlers Ford today in order to fill up ahead of the two and half percent VAT increase planned for tomorrow.
All routes around the vicinity of the Asda roundabout were gridlocked as a tailback of vehicles waiting to use the pumps stretched back onto Bournemouth Road.
This is the second rise in petrol pump prices this week.
The government is raising VAT from 17.5% to 20% from midnight tonight as part of a bid to tackle a structural deficit of £6 trillion.
It is estimated that a rise in VAT will bring in an extra £18 billion in tax leaving only another £5,999,820,000,000,000,000 to go.
One driver, 53, who was caught up in the jam – but did not wish to be named – reacted angrily by blowing his horn repeatedly and shouting at other drivers before saying:
“When I first saw the queues for Asda I thought people were queuing to stockpile food.
I was going to fill the car up with candles and sacks of rice – not petrol.
Food may be zero rated but we are going to see steep price rises on the supplier side due to higher transportation costs.”
According to a report by The Centre for Retail Research retail sales will fall by about £2.2bn in the first quarter of 2011 because of the rise in VAT,
The leader of the opposition, Labour party chief Ed Miliband said the VAT hike would slow growth and cost jobs.
Earlier in the year Mr Miliband had campaigned in Eastleigh against the VAT rise claiming the town’s MP Chris Huhne had performed a ‘U Turn’ on the tax.
Prior to the general election the Liberal Democrats had warned of a ‘Tory VAT Bombshell’ calling VAT a regressive tax , but after becoming a cabinet minister Mr Huhne spoke in favour of VAT and denied a rise would affect poorer people disproportionately.
Photo of Ed Miliband: ©S Slominski