Calls for more powers as Scotland loses £1.4 billion fuel-duty excess to London


By G.A.Ponsonby
Scotland is losing £1.4 billion to the UK Treasury as a result of the tax on fuel according to figures released by the Tax Payers’ Alliance.
A report carried out by the organisation revealed that £2.5billion was raised in Scotland in 2009 through fuel tax but only £1.1 billion was spent on transport infrastructure and tackling emissions.

Commenting on the research, Dundee East SNP MP Stewart Hosie, Treasury spokesman, said:

“Motorists are getting the worst deal.  The Treasury collected £2.5billion in Scotland in 2009 and only spent £1.1billion repairing our roads and on the social cost of transport emissions.

“This means Treasury pockets have been lined with a £1.4billion profit – where exactly is this cash going?”

The research showed that the £2.5 billion figure paid by Scots was 18% higher than the rest of the UK.  The UK Treasury collected £18.1billion in excess motoring taxes from UK motorists. 

The figures have prompted the SNP to urge the UK Government to abandon its plans to put 3p on a litre of petrol.  Mr Hosie also used the figures to call on the UK government to devolve more financial powers to Scotland and added:

“This evidence highlights how completely unacceptable it would be to put a further 3p on a litre as at the moment, people are paying almost £10 extra every time they fill up their tank.

“The TPA survey comes only a day after a YouGov poll showed people cannot afford the rising cost of fuel.

“With inflation going up there must be a guarantee from the UK Government they will not put an extra 3p on fuel prices.

“These figures combined with the growing objections across Scotland simply adds to the argument we should be equipped with full financial powers to enable us to set fair fuel prices.”

Unionist opposition parties are thus far resisting calls for a transfer of more powers – or ‘Devo-Max’ as it has been termed. 

The Lib Dems have announced they intend to set up another commission looking at the current set-up.   The commission, headed by senior Lib Dem MP Ming Campbell, is expected to report back in the Autumn of next year.

A recent BBC poll indicated that 61% of Scots favoured either full independence or a Devo-Max involving the transfer of all powers with the exception of foreign affairs and defence.