Agriculture MEP Urges Westminster MPs to Back SNP Fuel Duty Amendment

01 July 2008
Scotland's only full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Mr Alyn Smith has today (Tuesday) urged Westminster MPs from all parties to back SNP proposals for the introduction of a Fuel Duty Regulator which would provide relief for motorists and industry from soaring fuel prices.

MPs are also being urged to back the amendment to the Finance Bill by industry bodies, including the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS), and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) who will lead a protest of more than 500 trucks, escorted by police, through central London.

The amendment has been piloted thus far by the SNP's Treasury Spokesman Mr Stewart Hosie MP, and is a real chance to lower fuel duty across the UK.

Speaking ahead of the vote Mr Smith said:

"Stewart and the SNP Group at Westminster have played a blinder on this, and really led the agenda for Scotland's fuel users. Simply, this vote will be the last chance to secure fair play on fuel, with many businesses on the brink of going bust because of soaring fuel prices.

"Doing nothing is simply not an option, and I wholeheartedly back Stewart's appeal to all MPs to back our commonsense proposal for the introduction of a Fuel Duty Regulator.

"Scotland's Farmers, Growers, Fishermen, families and businesses cannot cope with the highest fuel prices in the world, and MPs must see sense and back Stewart's campaign.

"In the last year the cost of filling up the family car has gone up by as much as £30 a month, while some estimates show hauliers are paying as much as £37,000 a year to tank up a truck.

"It is ridiculous that in an oil rich country like Scotland key sectors are struggling to fill their tanks.

"Whilst the Treasury rakes in an onshore windfall from VAT at the pump, and an additional £6 billion in revenue from rising oil prices, Scotland's hard-pressed motorists and key industries face real pain.

"The Treasury must now see sense and ensure some of this windfall is used for a fuel duty regulator to moderate prices at the pump."