It seems as if everyone is talking about the rising price of fuel in recent weeks. With petrol prices now over £1.15 per litre, and diesel even higher, the cost of filling up the family car has rocketed.

Add this to the increasing mortgage costs, rising gas and electricity bills and it is no surprise that belts are being tightened. Of course, this price hike affects all goods that are transported by road, notably food. It is not just hauliers that are facing real problems but anyone who uses a vehicle for work.

What I find incredible is that Gordon Brown has decided to increase taxes to take more money out of our pockets at this time, rather than helping us out. The Government is to change the way that Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is calculated to raise an extra £2.5billion. Family cars face higher VED as well as a "showroom tax" for new cars. What is even worse is that the VED tax will be retrospective, so any car bought after 2001 will be hit by the higher tax rates. Families are now being penalised for decisions they made years in the past at a time when they could afford to buy a new or second hand car. This will lead in turn to a plummeting re-sale price for second-hand cars, and will make it more difficult for people to replace their car and upgrade to a new or better one. For example, the tax bill for a typical Ford Mondeo will rise from £210 to £310 a year, with a new £500 showroom tax on top.

At a time when families are feeling the pinch of the rising cost of living, the Government should scrap its plans for a big increase in road tax on family cars. For most families, cars are a necessity. Many people need them to take their children to school, to do the shopping and to commute to work. By raising taxes on necessities that we cannot do without, all the Government is doing is punishing hard-working families because of Brown's inability to manage the economy. We are now paying for Labour's mistakes.