Galloway will not be included in a rural fuel rebate scheme to be introduced by the government.
The UK Government has submitted an application to the European Commission (EC) to extend the rural fuel rebate scheme to ten new towns -three in England and seven in Scotland – excluding any within Dumfries and Galloway.
The seven in Scotland are Acharacle, Achnasheen, Appin, Carrbridge, Dalwhinnie, Gairloch and Strathpeffer. Kirkby-in-Furness in Cumbria, Hawes in North Yorkshire and Lynton in Devon are also included.
Introduced in March 2012, the discount currently applies to the Hebrides, Northern Isles, islands in the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly as well as other island communities in Europe. Retailers register with HM Revenue and Customs to claim 5p a litre relief on fuel for sale to the public.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “This is a real snub to hard pressed drivers in Dumfries and Galloway and shows that the Government aren’t serious about tackling the cost of living crisis facing families. They are hiding behind European criteria but there are local areas in our region, particularly in some of our more remote communities, where fuel prices are significantly above the national average and similar to those the Government are now asking to receive this 5 p discount. Not only have drivers suffered from the Government’s hike in VAT, which increased fuel prices, but we consistently have to put up with the fact that prices are routinely higher in Dumfries and Galloway than they are just over the border in Carlisle. What makes it more difficult is the fact that we are the lowest paid region in Scotland, so high fuel prices hit people in our area hard.”