Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus B MacNeil today attended a cross party meeting of Highland MPs with Scotland Office Minister, David Mundell MP to discuss the issue of rural fuel duty derogation.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr MacNeil said:

“We asked the UK Treasury and the Office of Fair Trading to look at the wholesale prices that were available inside and outside the rural fuel derogation area at the time of its introduction in March 2012.  This would have enabled us to see if there was any divergence in the pricing pattern inside and outside the rural fuel derogation areas.

“Further, it appears that it is costing £3.3milion a year to pay for the rural fuel derogation of 5p per litre.  As the budget for the derogation was £5million therefore an additional 2½p derogation could be possible while remaining in budget.  This could mean a total derogation of 7½p.  I feel that the Westminster government should investigate with the EU the possibility of increasing the derogation.

“There may be a need for a rural fuel price regulator for rural areas of Scotland but realistically I can’t see that happening before Scotland becomes independent, as it will not be a priority for Westminster.”