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12 January 2011

Stevenson Calls For End To Fuel Duty Highway Robbery

SCOTLAND’S PARLIAMENT NEEDS FINANCIAL POWERS

SNP MSP for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has hit out at the reneging of a Tory and Lib Dem promise over soaring fuel prices, as the SNP vowed to make the need for a Fuel Duty Regulator and bringing down the cost of fuel a key Holyrood election issue.

Local MSP Mr Stevenson pointed out that cutting fuel by 10p per litre in Scotland would only cost about half of the estimated £1 billion in extra revenue the Treasury is set to rake in as a result of rising oil prices.

Prices for unleaded in Banff & Buchan are hitting 130p per litre while diesel can be higher than a staggering 140p per litre at some garages in the North-east.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“The country is crying-out for action to bring down fuel prices, and the Holyrood election campaign is a vital opportunity for Scotland to demand that the Scottish Parliament has the economic and financial tools needed to act in the interests of our communities and the travelling public. Westminster – where the powers currently lie – has failed to do anything, and the Tories and Lib Dems have reneged on their pre-election promises.

“Across Banff & Buchan hard-pressed families are being hit really hard by soaring fuel prices in a nation that produces huge amounts of oil, much of which comes ashore in this very constituency. That is just outrageous.

“The untaxed price per litre is less than 50p and margins for fuel retailers are actually quite small. The bulk of the cost is tax with over 70p going to the treasury per litre through fuel tax and VAT.

“This is a huge issue on the doorstep and the forecourts – and the SNP will make it a big issue in the election. It is a key illustration of why we need to build up Scotland’s Parliament, and equip it with the full powers of financial responsibility.

“A Fuel Duty Regulator – which the Tories supported before the election – would bring duty down when oil prices go up. Cutting fuel by 10p per litre in Scotland would only cost about half of the estimated £1 billion in extra revenue the Treasury is set to rake in as a result of rising oil prices.

“It’s a national scandal that, in Europe’s oil-richest country, people in Scotland are paying among the highest fuel prices.”
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