Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford is calling for the scrapping of the August 3 pence rise in fuel duty and has re-iterated the SNP’s demand for a fuel duty regulator after the latest figures released by the European Commission showed UK fuel tax was approaching 60 per cent of the cost of fuel.
The proportion of tax levied on fuel by the UK Treasury is the highest amongst all EU members at 58.6% for unleaded and 56.8% for diesel.
The local SNP MP has long campaigned on the issue, along with colleagues in the SNP’s group of MPs in Westminster. Dr Whiteford has warned that soaring fuel prices are holding back economic recovery and called on the UK Government to recognise how its road fuel taxes are impacting on the transport industry, including bus services and fares, as well as hauliers and households.
“North-east firms and families are paying a higher and higher price for the UK Government’s fuel taxation policy. The soaring levels of fuel duty are simply highway robbery for regions like Banff & Buchan, where road journeys are a necessity and by absolutely no stretch a luxury.
“In July 2008, George Osborne launched plans for a ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’, describing it as a ‘common sense plan’: an idea that is extremely similar to the SNP’s Fuel Duty Regulator proposal, which we have long campaigned for.
“We are just shy of four years since the Chancellor set out his proposal but instead of following common sense they have plans for a further 3 pence rise when we already face the highest fuel taxes in Europe.
“Excuses that it would be too difficult to introduce a regulatory mechanism are wearing thin. There is a momentum building across Europe for action on fuel. Germany has now become the third European country after Austria and Denmark to sign up to price regulation.
“The SNP has led and continues to lead calls at Westminster for the 3p rise in duty to be scrapped. We will also be tabling amendments to the budget to bring in a fuel duty regulator.
“If Westminster will not act, the powers should be passed to the Scottish Parliament so that it can. If Scotland had control of fuel duty, the SNP government would introduce a fuel duty regulator to lower prices now.”