The SNP has criticised the Chancellor’s failure to act on fuel prices
at the pump as he used the Budget to confirm that fuel duty will
increase in line with inflation.

SNP Westminster Transport spokesperson Angus MacNeil MP called for a
fair fuel regulator – a pre-election pledge of the Chancellor and a
longstanding policy of the SNP – which would prevent high prices at
the pump and stop the government receiving a windfall from higher

Mr MacNeil said:

“The country is crying out for action to bring down fuel prices, but
the Chancellor has ignored calls to reduce fuel duty and forgotten
about his pre-election pledge and establish a regulator.

“It’s a national scandal that, in an oil rich country like Scotland,
we are paying the highest fuel prices in Europe. With the bulk of the
pump price made up of tax, the Treasury should stop this highway
robbery because soaring fuel prices are hindering economic recovery.

“In July 2008, George Osborne launched plans for a ‘Fair Fuel
Stabiliser’, describing it as a ‘common sense plan’.  As well as being
common sense, it is unanswerable and fair for Scotland, given that we
pay among the highest fuel prices in Europe even as Scottish oil
revenues surge into the UK Exchequer. The problem with the Tories plan
is that they launched a dangerous smash and grab raid on the North Sea
to pay for it – which was the wrong thing to do.

“With record North Sea oil and gas revenues flowing to the Treasury,
we need to see some of that money used to bring fuel prices down – and
to keep them stable – through a fuel duty regulator.

“The SNP have consistently called for the introduction of a fuel duty
regulator, in contrast the only measure Labour introduced was the fuel
price escalator that increased the misery for motorists.

“The Tories and LibDems promised action before the 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.”