MacDonald Says Government Must Look in Backyard on Fuel Tax
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 12:35
Above: Angus MacDonald MSP at Grangemouth's BP filling station on Bo'ness Road
Following reports that the UK Transport Secretary is considering legislating to force retailers to pass on cuts in the wholesale price of oil Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed the UK Government’s recognition that soaring fuel prices are hurting families and the wider economy. The local MSP has also made the point that the UK Treasury continues to take over 81p per litre in fuel duty and VAT.
For a 50 litre tank fill of a family car this equates to over 40 pounds in tax.
Of more immediate concern to Mr MacDonald is the UK Government’s plans for a 3p per litre fuel tax rise in August. The SNP is proposing a Finance Bill amendment that will cancel that rise - an amendment supported by MPs from 9 parties and backed by the Fair Fuel UK Campaign.
The SNP MSP has also called on local Tory to come out against their party’s national policy which, he says, is damaging the economic recovery.
Mr MacDonald said:
“The campaign to scrap the Chancellors August fuel tax rise is gaining momentum.
“Action to tackle high fuel prices was missing from the UK Government’s budget and I welcome any late proposals that might help with that issue.
“It is all very well putting pressure on retailers to pass on wholesale price cuts but with the vast bulk of the cost of fuel going direct to the Treasury that is where the root of the problem lies.
“The UK Government already has it within its power to ease the burden of fuel costs by ending the highway robbery, and it can be done within this budget.
“The SNP has also long supported a fuel duty regulator to stabilise prices in the long term – this was a policy supported by the Tories prior to the last UK election.
“There is massive support, both within and outside parliament, for the SNP’s clause to scrap the 3 pence fuel rise planned for August. If the Transport Secretary is concerned about this issue, she should back the clause.
“There is a momentum for action on fuel prices – but the UK Government could take action now rather than talking about legislation later.
“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.”