Sunday, November 1, 2009

SNP Attack Fuel Prices on Freight

Taxation “Highway Robbery”
Shipping News Feature

SCOTLAND - The Scottish National Party (SNP) yesterday attacked diesel costs in Scotland as “highway robbery” after figures released by the UK’s Department of Energy revealed that diesel in Scotland is the most expensive in Europe.

The figures show that diesel in the UK is 10 pence higher than in any other EU nation with a litre costing an average of 106.9p. Diesel in Inverness is an average of 109p.With 66% of the cost of fuel in the UK due to taxation – according to the SNP more than in any other EU nation – the party is calling for a reduction in fuel duty to protect haulage operators.

The SNP’s Transport spokesperson, Angus MacNeil, said:

“The Treasury’s tax take on diesel is modern day highway robbery. It is a national scandal that, in an oil rich country like Scotland, we are paying more than 30p a litre more than motorists in Romania and Bulgaria.

“Key sectors like the haulage industry are reeling from forecourt costs, and Alistair Darling must use his Pre-Budget report next month to bring down the cost of fuel.

“A strong haulage industry is a vital part of our economy. The fact is that soaring fuel prices are actually hindering economic recovery from recession.”

Mr. MacNeil is also the Member of Parliament for the Western Isles, where diesel on the island of Barra costs £1.20 a litre.

The SNP currently hold 7 of the 59 Scottish seats in Parliament and no doubt hopes that its criticism of high fuel duty, universally disliked by hauliers and motorists, will prove a vote winner in next years elections.

(pic: Angus MacNeil)