Above: Angus MacDonald MSP at the BP filling station, Bo'ness Road, Grangemouth

The SNP called for the scrapping of the August 3 pence rise in fuel duty and the introduction of 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.

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald 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 MacDonald said:

“The UK Government needs to end this highway robbery that is choking back economic recovery.

“In July 2008, George Osborne launched plans for a ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’, describing it as a ‘common sense plan’.  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 is leading 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.”




The SNP are working with Fairfuel UK to lead a cross-party campaign calling on the UK Government to scrap the 3 pence rise in fuel duty planned for August.  


A total of twenty eight MPs from nine political parties and one independent, have already agreed to support a proposed clause, drafted by the SNP, which will amend the Budget and cancel the autumn rise in fuel duty. The clause will be tabled at the earliest opportunity, when the Finance Bill has completed committee stage, expected in late June.


The SNP’s Treasury Spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP, who is leading the campaign in parliament, said:


“The level of cross-party support for this clause is astonishing – and reflects the mood across the country that fuel prices must be brought under control.


“The momentum for action is growing with 28 MPs, from across nine parties, and one independent, already signed up. This is an almost unprecedented level of cross party unity on this crucial issue.


“Over the next few weeks we will be working with Fairfuel UK to build even more support, inside and outside parliament, for the clause, and force the Treasury to rethink the planned autumn rise.


“The lack of action on fuel prices was one of the biggest issues missing in the Chancellor’s budget. High costs of fuel aren’t just hurting the pockets of hard-pressed householders across the UK– they are hammering businesses and hampering economic recovery.

“In the long term a fuel duty regulator would help protect from volatile fuel prices – but in the short term we can take immediate action by scrapping the further 3 pence rise.


“We already have the highest rates of taxes on petrol and diesel in Europe – it’s time to end this highway robbery and call a halt to further rises which will hamper economic recovery.”


Quentin Willson, national spokesperson for FairFuelUK said:


“Now's the time to show that Parliament really can join together and stand up for the greater good. The cost of fuel is one of this country's most pressing social issues. We’re calling on all MPs to show the hard-working people and businesses of Britain that they understand and care about this vital issue.”


Peter Carroll, National Organiser of FairFuel UK, added:


“The recent news that the UK economy contracted more sharply than originally estimated makes the need for measures to stimulate growth even more urgent.  Adding 3p per litre when the economy is on its knees, families are struggling to survive week by week and UK businesses are struggling borders on economic madness. 


“Poll after poll shows that Fuel Duty is the number 1 priority for voters.  We have shared research with the Government that clearly shows they can cut Fuel Duty and not harm Treasury revenues.  A cut of just 2.5p per litre would boost growth by a much needed 0.33%, create 175,000 jobs and crucially not harm Treasury revenues – the tax take on the stimulated economic growth compensates for the loss of Fuel Duty.”



Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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