SNP LEAD CROSS-PARTY CAMPAIGN TO SCRAP AUGUST 3p FUEL HIKE
NINE PARTIES UNITE IN DEMAND FOR FAIR FUEL PRICES
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.
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP and Westminster Transport Spokesperson Angus MacNeil MP said:
“The impact of high fuel costs is felt most acutely in rural Scotland, where transport is at the core of the economy. Scrapping the planned 3 pence rise would bring much needed relief to people across the Highlands, Islands and the North East who are already struggling with the cost of filling their tanks.
“High fuel costs have a knock-on effect across rural communities, crippling industries, limiting access to services and choking back economic growth.
“It is ridiculous that as a major energy producer we are already hammered with the highest fuel duty in Europe, and some of the highest fuel prices.
“Rural Scotland could play a vital role in building economic recovery – but it is being hampered by this highway robbery. At a time of double-dip recession, to add to the burden with a further rise in duty would be economic madness.
“In the long term we need a fuel duty regulator to protect from volatile prices – but in the short term the Chancellor must listen to the cross-party campaign being led by the SNP and call a halt to a further 3 pence rise.”
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.”
1. MPs who have signed up to support the SNP clause to scrap the 3 pence rise in fuel duty:
SNP – Stewart Hosie (Dundee East) , Angus MacNeil (Western Isles), Mike Weir (Angus) , Dr Eilidh Whiteford (Banff & Buchan), Pete Wishart (Perth & North Perthshire), Angus Robertson (Moray)
Plaid Cymru – Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd), Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
Alliance – Naomi Long (Belfast East)
DUP – Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry), Nigel Dodds (Belfast North), Jeffrey M Donaldson (Lagan Valley), William McCrea (South Antrim), Ian Paisley Jr (North Antrim), Jim Shannon (Strangford), David Simpson (Upper Bann), Sammy Wilson (East Antrim)
SDLP – Mark Durkan (Foyle), Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South), Margaret Ritchie (South Down)
Conservative – Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey), Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole)
Labour – Dai Havard (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney), Roger Godsiff (Birmingham, Hall Green), John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington)
Lib Dem – Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South)
Respect – George Galloway (Bradford West)
Independent – Lady Sylvia Hermon (North Down)
The full list of MPs who are already signed up to the SNP clause will be published on the Fairfuel UK website http://www.fairfueluk.com/
2. The text of the proposed clause to scrap the three pence rise:
To move the following Clause:-
‘From 1 August 2012 the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979 shall have effect as if the amendments made to it by section 20 of the Finance Act 2011 (Fuel duties: rates of duty and rebates from 1 January 2012) had not been enacted.
3. The research referred to is a report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) which can be downloaded here