Labour’s bid to delay an increase in fuel duty of 3p a litre planned for January2013 has been defeated in the Commons by a government majority of 48.

Labour, which wanted to delay it until at least April saying “it would be wrong” for it to take effect sooner, was defeated by 282 votes to 234.

The party argued the 3p rise would stretch already hard-pressed families.

The Treasury said fuel was “now 10 pence a litre lower than under the previous government’s plans”.

Consumer organisation Which? said 85% of people it surveyed had expressed concerns about rising fuel prices.

Pollsters Populus interviewed 2,100 UK adults on behalf of Which? online between October 26 and 28.

The survey suggested 39% of people would cut back on motoring costs, while one in 10 said they had used savings to cover motoring costs.

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