The European Commission must not be allowed to delay the introduction of the proposed pilot scheme to reduce the cost of petrol and diesel in the isles by cutting five pence a litre from fuel duty, according to MSP Tavish Scott.
He said: “A five pence cut may not remove all the differential between the Shetland price and that in Scotland’s cities, but it is a very welcome and worthwhile first step. This is the first time any government has done anything to address the price differential which has been with us for years. Past Labour and Conservative governments did nothing. But Liberal Democrats in coalition in Westminster have made this first important step forward towards a level playing field for fuel prices.”
The scheme was announced by chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander at the Liberal Democrats’ Scottish conference at the weekend. The government is now awaiting approval from the commission.
“As similar schemes exist elsewhere in Europe, the European Commission can have no excuse for delaying their consideration of this proposal. If a fuel duty derogation is allowed in Sardinia, then it must be allowed in Shetland.
“Shetland drivers and businesses have already waited too long for this welcome step forward. The Commission must not prolong the wait. They must be pushed by the UK government to give their consent without delay.”