Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil is piling further pressure on the UK Government to increase the Rural Fuel Rebate at next week’s Spring Budget.

In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, Mr MacNeil is pressing once again for an increase in the Rural Fuel Rebate from 5p a litre to 10p a litre.

The Rural Fuel Rebate was introduced in 2012 after many years of heavy lobbying by Mr MacNeil and others to take 5p off a litre of fuel in island and other rural locations.

Mr MacNeil wrote to the then Chancellor Rishi Sunak in March last year calling for an increase to the Rural Fuel Rebate from 5p a litre to 10p a litre and the response received from Helen Whately, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, confirmed that there are no plans to change the Rural Fuel Rebate.

With additional pressures placed on households in the islands, Mr MacNeil is reiterating this call once again.

Mr MacNeil said: “I had asked the Chancellor to increase the Rural Fuel Rebate from 5p a litre to 10p a litre in March last year, but this request was woefully brushed aside.

“Rather than taking action to help families, the Tories choose to make the rich richer.

“Scotland is an energy-rich country but sadly being in the UK we are not getting the benefits of our vast resources.  The UK is hampering and harming Scotland and only with independence can we get out of this mess.”

Mr MacNeil is also supporting calls from the Road Hauliers Association (RHA) for an Essential User Rebate of 15p per litre which has been introduced in many European nations including Ireland, France, Italy and Belgium.