Fuel duty rise cannot be rightGareth Fuller/PA Wire

Raising fuel duty by 3p in January "cannot be right" says shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

Labour will force a Commons vote next week to call for a planned 3p hike in fuel duty to be postponed for a second time.

Balls is urging MPs from all sides to back demands for the Government to cancel the increase due in January.

The shadow chancellor claims the move could be funded by cracking down on tax avoidance schemes.

In a blog for PoliticsHome, Balls wrote: "At a time when the cost of living is rising, our recovery is fragile and this out-of-touch Government is giving 8,000 millionaires a tax cut, it cannot be right to hit middle and low income families and small businesses with another tax increase.

"That is why Labour is calling on the Chancellor to cancel January's planned 3p rise in fuel duty - at least until next April. We will put this to a vote in Parliament on Monday and I hope MPs from all parties will stand up for their constituents and back our call."

Chancellor George Osborne scrapped a planned 3p rise in fuel duty due in August at a cost of £550 million.

Campaigners from FairFuelUK claim allowing it to now go ahead in January could lead to 35,000 job losses and hit economic growth - as recently reported on AOL Cars.

Balls added: "I am clear that now is not the right time to hit the economy with another tax rise on small firms and people on low and middle incomes.

"The Government needs to act and clamp down on those avoiding paying their fair share of tax so that millions don't have to pay more. And I hope MPs from other parties will join us next week in pushing them to do so."