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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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FISHERMEN'S FEDERATION & HAULIERS BACK FUEL DUTY REGULATOR

Monday, 30 June 2008

SUPPORT GROWING FOR SNP AMENDMENT TO FINANCE BILL

Banff & Buchan SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed growing support for the SNP's proposal to cut fuel prices through a Fuel Duty Regulator. Organisations representing both hauliers & fishermen, two of the North-east's major industries, have thrown their weight behind SNP proposals for the introduction of a Fuel Duty Regulator, which would provide relief for motorists and industry from soaring fuel prices.

The local MSP says that the Chancellor is under growing pressure to take urgent action and an SNP amendment to the Finance Bill being considered by the House of Commons next week, provides an ideal opportunity.

The SNP's proposal has secured the backing of the Road Haulage Association and the Scottish Fishermen's Federation.

In a letter to the SNP's Westminster Treasury spokesperson, Stewart Hosie MP, SFF chief executive, Bertie Armstrong, said:

"Fuel prices at the quayside have increased by 40% since January – perhaps 25% of the industry is now in financial jeopardy. Fishermen do not pay duty on fuel but the industry is unable to pass on increases in anything like real time – fish is sold at auction we are price takers, not price makers. The SNP's fuel duty regulator would provide some relief to hard pressed fishermen and I commend it fully."

These concerns have been echoed by many involved in local industries including hauliers, fishermen and farmers, as well as many individuals who are finding the necessity of owning a car in rural Banff & Buchan eating up more and more of their budgets.

Welcoming the growing support for the SNP's proposals, Westminster candidate Eilidh Whiteford said:

"I am delighted that the SFF & the Road Haulage Association have added their voice to the growing chorus of support for the introduction of a fuel duty regulator. Jointly they representative a significant number of businesses in Banff & Buchan and across Scotland.

"Backing for a regulator is mounting outside Parliament, and next week we must secure support in parliament.

"Whilst the UK Government rakes in an additional £6 billion in revenue from rising prices, Banff & Buchan's hard-pressed motorists and key industries like fishing, farming and hauliers face real pain at the pumps.

"UK Ministers cannot just wring their hands while fuel costs cripple the Scottish economy and lifeline services.

"It is ridiculous that in an oil rich country key sectors are struggling to fill their tanks."

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