ABERDEENSHIRE West MSP Dennis Robertson, who has been campaigning for fair fuel prices in rural Aberdeenshire, has reiterated his call on the Coalition Government at Westminster to introduce a fuel duty regulator, after speculation mounted that the price of petrol could be set to increase by up to 4p a litre.
The Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) have said that a sharp increase in wholesale fuel prices since December, which they blamed on ‘speculation’ by wholesale traders, was set to further rise, which would be passed on to consumers.
However, retailers have themselves have come under fire for failing to pass on previous falls in wholesale prices to consumers, and the Office of Fair Trading is due to release a review into the issue shortly.
The PRA has recently called for a “full review” of the wholesale market for fuel.
Mr Robertson believes that a fuel duty regulator, which sees fuel duty cut as prices (and therefore VAT receipts) rise, is the most effective way of stabilising prices at the pumps in a highly volatile market. However, he says that successive Westminster Governments have refused to implement the proposals.
Commenting, SNP MSP Dennis Robertson said, “I have been campaigning for years for a fair fuel price at the pump for our rural communities; in April 2010, just before the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition took over at Westminster, fuel price in Aberdeenshire was more than £1 cheaper at the pump than it is today. Representing the largest constituency in the North East, I understand that for those living and working in rural areas a car is a necessity, not a luxury.
“At a time when the UK’s economy is teetering on the brink of a triple-dip recession, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs have their heads buried in the sand, we simply cannot afford to be putting an extra financial burden on our rural communities.
“The fuel duty regulator is a simple, effective way to ensure prices remain stable and give confidence to those families living in rural Scotland whose livelihoods depend on this.
“We, in the North East, fail to understand why a country as oil-rich as Scotland has to suffer from some of the highest fuel taxes in the EU. In an independent Scotland we would make decisions about fuel tax and we would be able to introduce a fuel duty regulator which Westminster has continually rejected or failed to deliver.”