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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, May 01, 2009

Fuel duty

It was interesting to read the debate on Fuel Duty and a possible derogation, held in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

Particularly read the section in Liam MacArthur's opening speech where he fillets the SNP policy of a Fuel Duty Regulator, and the negative impact such a policy would have had on the Western Isles. (Like me, you might have a good hard laugh at some of the less than polite comments)

Something I have been saying for some time.

Although he does slightly over-egg the pudding at some points, he sets out the fundamental flaws in such a policy with clarity.

As the motion was for a derogation in pricing - effectively price cuts in rural areas - it is not incompatible with the ludicrous policy of a duty regulator.

However, the LibDem motion agreed to finally, finally, forces the Scottish Government to take action, rather than just be a bland restatement of principles without action.
That the Parliament notes the UK Budget and the plans to increase fuel duty; recognises the high premium over the national average paid for fuel at filling stations in remote rural and particularly island areas and the financial and social impact that this has on individuals and businesses; believes that increased fuel duty will have a damaging effect on the economy and competitiveness in these areas, not least due to the limited public transport alternatives; notes that current EU law allows fuel duty to be cut by up to 2.4p per litre and that this power is already used in France, Portugal and Greece, and calls on the Scottish Government to work with the UK Government and the European Commission before the final passage of the Finance Bill to construct a derogation under the EU energy products directive, or otherwise, to permit variable rates of duty for specified remote rural areas to bring down the price of fuel at the pump to that available in other parts of the United Kingdom.
Perhaps now we may have some action. Although I expect Alasdair Darling to refuse to implement such a policy, despite public cries to the contrary. The real coup would be getting the Tories - the next Government - to support such a policy. The chances seem low, given that they abstained when it came to the vote yesterday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved the questionnaire we all got! Basically asking if we would prefer to pay more or less for our fuel. Guess which most went for? Hardly a reasonable question in the present environmentally challenged circumstances.