SNP urges fuel duty rise re-think as figures show tax now 60% of price

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The SNP has called for an urgent U-turn on the August 3 pence fuel duty rise as new figures show that in the UK 60 per cent of the price at the pump is made up from petrol taxes.

Figures from the EC weekly oil bulletin confirm the UK has the highest proportion of tax on petrol and diesel amongst all EU members, with VAT and fuel duty now reaching 60% of petrol costs and 58% of diesel.

Taxes hit the 60% mark just a few months before a further 3 pence rise in fuel duty is due to come into force. 

The SNP has drafted a clause to the budget which would halt this further rise, which has received support from campaigners FairFuel UK, and has already been backed by 48 MPs from nine parties.

The clause will be tabled at earliest opportunity, when the Finance Bill completes committee stage, likely to be early July.

Pensioner Campaign UK, which represents three million pensioners, are the latest group to throw their weight behind the cross-party Fairfuel UK Campaign.

Christine Ward, Chairperson said: “Pensioners Campaign UK supports FairFuelUK and in particular, their latest initiative in their campaign to scrap the 3p Fuel Duty rise from the recent Budget planned for August”.

In a FairFuel survey of over 10,000 pensioners, 82% said cutting fuel duty was the most important tax change for growth in the UK economy, and 73% said MPs were out of touch with the effect of high fuel prices on their lives.

More than one in three said they would not vote for their MP unless they supported reducing the cost of fuel by voting to scrap the 3 pence hike.

SNP Transport Spokesperson Angus MacNeil MP called on the UK Government to listen to the concerns of pensioners and recognise the impact fuel costs were having on household budgets across the country.

Mr MacNeil said:

“People across the UK are fed up facing the highest fuel taxes in Europe. Now a staggering 60 per cent of the price of petrol is disappearing down the Treasury black hole.

“This is particularly hard on households with small and fixed incomes like pensioners, who are already impacted more by heating, food and travel costs.

“The UK Government cannot deflect all the blame for prices onto oil companies or suppliers when 60 per cent of the cost goes into government coffers.  Action to cut the cost of fuel is within their hands.

“The public realise the UK Government are the biggest culprits in this highway robbery. A FairFuel survey of over 10,000 pensioners found  85% blame the government for current fuel prices, with 73% saying their MP was out of touch with the effect of high fuel prices on their lives.  An overwhelming majority of 82% also said cutting fuel duty was the most important tax change for growth in the economy – compared with just 12% who said it was lowering VAT.”

Mr MacNeil is urging MPs from across the chamber to get behind the FairFuel campaign and support the SNP clause at Westminster to cancel the 3 pence rise.

He added:

“With Pensioners Campaign UK the latest to throw their weight behind the FairFuel campaign, it’s time for all MPs to listen to their concerns and stop them facing even higher fuel prices come August.

“If the UK Government can u-turn on everything from pasties to caravans, they can u-turn on the 3p fuel hike.  MPs from all parties should get behind their constituents and force the Treasury to change their mind on this damaging plan.”