Members of parliament and political parties, particularly the opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF), have argued against further fuel price rises saying would "constitute a real catastrophe".

Food prices have also risen in recent months and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects inflation of nine per cent in 2008, up from 5.4 per cent last year.

Jordan used to be fully dependent on neighbouring Iraq for its fuel supplies which Baghdad supplied at a preferential price.

However, since the US-led invasion of 2003, Amman has had to buy its supplies at the market rate.