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22 June 2005

STEVENSON: HAULIERS NEED ACTION NOW, NOT IN 10 to 15 YEARS’ TIME

“FUEL TAX AND WORKING TIME DIRECTIVE FINAL NAIL IN COFFIN FOR MANY”

Banff & Buchan SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson is reiterating calls for the London Government to adopt the SNP’s fuel duty regulator plan immediately to help Scotland’s haulage industry.

Mr Stevenson made the comments after Transport Minister Alistair Darling announced plans for a road charging policy which would charge drivers between 2p and £1.30 a mile. The scheme would take about 10 to 15 years’ to come to fruition by which time many Scottish hauliers would have gone to the wall.

Mr Stevenson commented:

“The Government has produced a vague notion as a possible solution at a time when local hauliers are facing incredible pressures.

“Why is Alistair Darling spending so much time talking about transport policy for 10 to 15 years’ time when Scottish business - especially the haulage sector - faces serious threats now?

“The haulage industry is facing a bleak financial future. It is being subjected to the highest fuel tax burden in the EU and the working time directive will be the final nail in the coffin for many.

“Instead of protecting Scottish industry, Gordon Brown is inflicting huge damage on the Scottish economy and the freight industry in particular.

“The time of the SNP’s fuel duty regulator has now come.”
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