Na H-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has welcomed the announcement that the UK Governments fuel duty cut will be implemented in the rural areas from March 2012, also pleased to see that HMRC have put in place a scheme which will be easier for Fuel Retailers to manage, and that they will be able to claim the 5p a litre rebate as from January 2012.
Mr MacNeil said :
“Fuel is one of the main issues of concern in rural areas, and while I welcome that we have a victory and a start date for this scheme. I have been arguing for this scheme for the past 5 years. The previous Labour Government did nothing to help and while I am pleased that this Coalition Government have moved, had they been nimbler the scheme could have been in place by now.
“We will still have to be wary in case of any teething problems for retailers when it starts to get going.
“The price of fuel has been rising steadily for the past two years, with it now at record levels, and the gulf in price between the Hebrides and the mainland being nearly 18p a litre. This will go some way to helping motorists, and I would hope that the Chancellor George Osborne will also scrap the proposed 3p a litre fuel duty increase that is being proposed in January 2012.  
“Further, we must not forget that in July 2008, George Osborne launched plans for a ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’, describing it as a ‘common sense plan’. We need to see action on that area  now from the Government too. As well as being common sense, it is answerable and fair for Scotland, given that we pay amongst the highest fuel prices in Europe even as Scottish oil revenues surge into the UK Exchequer.
“With record North Sea oil and gas revenues flowing to the Treasury this year, we need to see some of that money being used to bring fuel prices down – and to keep them stable – through a fuel duty regulator.
“The Tories and Lib Dems promised action on this before last year’s General Election. They have the money – Scotland’s oil money – and the powers to deliver.
“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 and we would have had next spring’s Island Rural Fuel Derogation in place years ago.”