Government agrees to investigate fuel price schemes for remote areas
The new Tory-Lib Dem government has agreed to investigate measures to help with fuel costs in remote rural areas, starting with pilot schemes.
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott described the decision as early evidence of the Liberal Democrats in government delivering for local people.
Mr Scott said: “For years, Liberal Democrat MPs in Westminster have tried to get a derogation on the fuel duty applied in island and remote rural areas. This would bring fuel costs at the pumps in line with those paid by urban motorists. But these efforts have been repeatedly blocked by Labour and Conservative governments.
“Now, working within the UK government, Liberal Democrats have won this commitment. This is just a first step, but a very important one. It is clear evidence of Liberal Democrats in government delivering for the islands.
“I will be working closely with Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander and isles MP Alistair Carmichael to make sure that the investigation is undertaken as quickly as possible. Shetland motorists need to see this government deliver fairer fuel prices so I will be arguing for Shetland to be included in the first pilot scheme.”
Mr Scott lobbied newly appointed Prime Minister David Cameron for a derogation on fuel duty for islands and rural areas during his visit to the Scottish Parliament Mr Alexander last Friday.
Meanwhile, a fresh campaign to bring fair fuel prices to rural Scotland is to be presented to the government ahead of the emergency budget on 22nd June.
The campaign has a strong base on Facebook with over 800 supporters all calling for a fuel duty regulator or otherwise to give rural Scotland a level playing field with other areas. The campaign launched a petition for presentation to the government which attracted 42 signatures within 30 minutes of its launch.
Due to the change of administration the Downing Street petition service is unavailable at present. A paper copy will soon be available in outlets to compliment the online petition, which can be found at www.ipetitions.com/petition/fairfuelbudget/signatures
Campaigner Erica Macdonald said: “It is really important that we all sign this petition and show the new government that we are really suffering from extreme fuel prices.”