LOCAL Labour MP Russell Brown is calling on the Government to bring the rural fuel duty discount scheme to Dumfries and Galloway after the Chancellor George Osborne said they were looking to extend it to parts of the mainland.
The tax discount scheme was brought in last year and reduces petrol and diesel by 5p per litre, but currently only operates in Scottish Islands.
During a debate in the House of Commons last week the Chancellor said the Government was pressing the European Commission to extend the definition of rural areas that could benefit, thereby extending it to the mainland.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “There was real disappointment in our region when the fuel duty discount scheme was announced because it only applied to the Islands and did nothing for people here.
“I am pleased that the Chancellor is looking at the possibility of extending it to the mainland. Motorists in Dumfries and Galloway face a double whammy of a low wage economy and some of the highest fuel prices in the country. The cost of filling up at the pump is crippling local families and businesses. I have been very concerned to hear that the cost is so prohibitive that some constituents, who are reliant upon driving to their work place, are seriously considering having to leave their job because they can’t afford the travel costs. I have written to the Chancellor to call on him to make sure Dumfries and Galloway is at the top of the list of parts of the mainland to benefit from this.
“Of course, the easiest and fairest way to cut the tax on fuel would be to reverse the Government’s VAT increase, which added 3-4p to every litre. This would provide immediate relief to motorists really struggling.”