Tuesday, 30 March 2010
SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford was joined by SNP Euro-MP Alyn Smith and local councillor Sandy Duncan on a visit to local businesses in Turriff yesterday (Monday).
Mr Smith, who is a member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, was invited by Dr Whiteford to visit businesses in the local area which are of vital importance to the rural economy. Among the businesses visited were Turriff Fuels and Harbro Farm Services.
Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith commented:
"It was also very useful to hear from his perspective as a fuel supplier of the effect of fuel prices on his customers. The volatility in the wholesale price of fuel charged to distributors, coupled with the huge taxes imposed on fuels hit people in rural areas disproportionately hard as they often have no alternative source of heating, being as they are beyond the gas mains."
Speaking after the visit, SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford said:
"Rising fuel prices have put households under intense pressure this winter. The cost of keeping warm in severe weather has never been higher, especially for older people and those in rural areas.
"Those for whom a car is a necessity are also being punished by the UK Government's fuel tax increases. Even though we live in an oil-rich nation, we have the highest taxed fuel in Europe, with up to three-quarters of what we pay at the pump going straight to the UK Treasury. This is a stealth tax on people in rural Scotland, who have greater distances to travel, and for whom cars are a necessity not a luxury.
"The SNP has proposed a Fuel Duty Regulator, a simple mechanism that would ensure that as oil prices rise, the tax rate falls. Introducing a Fuel Duty Regulator would help reduce this unfair tax burden on our local businesses and households."
Afterwards, Alyn Smith accompanied Dr Whiteford and local councillor Sandy Duncan on a visit to Harbro Farm Sales in Turriff to hear about current farming issues from the company's point of view.