SNP MP calls for fuel relief for rural communities

17
741


SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Angus MacNeil has called on the Prime Minister to introduce an Islands’ Rural Fuel Derogation before the January VAT hike comes into force.
 
Commenting after Prime Minister’s Questions where he raised the issue, Mr MacNeil MP said:
 
“The Liberals and Tories inflicted a VAT hike which will hit those already struggling with sky high fuel prices especially hard….


SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Angus MacNeil has called on the Prime Minister to introduce an Islands’ Rural Fuel Derogation before the January VAT hike comes into force.
 
Commenting after Prime Minister’s Questions where he raised the issue, Mr MacNeil MP said:
 
“The Liberals and Tories inflicted a VAT hike which will hit those already struggling with sky high fuel prices especially hard.
 
“Road users in my constituency are paying more tax per litre than anywhere else in the UK. Only this week a constituent who works in Benbecula but who lives in South Uist told me that the price of fuel at around £1.35-£1.40 means that it is becoming too expensive for her to travel to work.
 
“The VAT hike inflicted by the Tories and the Lib Dems yesterday will make rural fuel even more expensive and action must be taken without delay.
 
“The Prime Minister has pledged his government to look at the issue and I am optimistic measures will be in place by January 2011 to make life a little easier for rural road users.” 
 
The Lib Dem manifesto was launched in the Highlands and pledged that the party would introduce a rural fuel duty discount to help those in remote areas.

The manifesto pledge stated the party would:
“Introduce a rural fuel duty discount, to help ease the burden of high fuel prices in remote areas. We are the only party with a plan to tackle the issues facing people in the Highlands and Islands. The record price of fuel is hitting families very hard – especially because of the long distances, higher prices, and lack of public transport. Our fuel duty discount scheme would reduce fuel duty for people in remote and rural areas – helping people to make ends meet.”

The Lib Dem manifesto co-ordinator was current Treasury Minister Danny Alexander who said in the general election campaign:

“The case for a fair fuel deal for remote and rural communities is absolutely clear. People face longer journeys, much higher pump prices and few if any public transport alternatives. A lower rate of fuel duty is already available for remote and island areas in many other European countries.

“A rural fuel duty discount would help people in the Highlands & Islands at the pump, and help small independent filling stations to compete and survive. Every time the Liberal Democrats have introduced amendments to deliver this change, it has been blocked by Labour and Tory MPs.”

VAT is planned to rise from 17.5% to 20% following a vote this week in the Commons.  The SNP tabled an amendment that sought to protect businesses and families from the effects of the tax hike however Labour refused to back the amendment.  Labour introduced their own that sought to delay the hike and another that would have protected charitable groups and similar, however both failed.

If you found this article interesting why not make a small contribution in order to help keep the site going – see the paypal button on the right.

newsnetscotland.com