The SNP has stepped up calls for the introduction of a Fuel Duty Regulator as new figures published by the European Commission show the proportion of tax levied on fuel by the UK Treasury is the highest amongst all EU members at 57.4% for unleaded and 55.8% for diesel.
Tax expressed as a percentage of the pre-tax price is also the highest in the EU: 134.9% for unleaded and 126.3% for diesel.
SNP Westminster Transport spokesperson Angus MacNeil MP warned that soaring fuel prices were 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.
Mr MacNeil said:
“The Treasury’s tax take on fuel is modern day highway robbery. It is a national scandal that, in an oil rich country like Scotland, we are paying the highest fuel taxes in Europe.
“Families and key sectors like the haulage and the transport industry are reeling from forecourt costs, and George Osborne must honour his pre-election pledge and introduce a fuel duty regulator.
“In July 2008, George Osborne launched plans for a ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’, describing it as a ‘common sense plan’. As well as being common sense, it is unanswerable and fair for Scotland, given that we pay among the highest fuel prices in Europe even as Scottish oil revenues surge into the UK Exchequer.
“With record North Sea oil and gas revenues flowing to the Treasury, we need to see some of that money used to bring fuel prices down – and to keep them stable – through 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.”