LOCAL politicians have welcomed the government’s u-turn on a fuel duty hike due to come into force in August after months of lobbying.
Chancellor George Osbourne had previously announced a 3p increase but said this week he would postpone until January.
Now the news has been welcomed but the government are being criticised for turning back on yet another policy.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “Postponing the fuel duty rise is the right decision, which is why the last Labour Government did the same when times were tough. It would have crippled local families, pensioners and businesses who are already at breaking point.
“I have been inundated by constituents saying they simply could not afford the 3p per litre increase. In a rural area like ours a car is a necessity for many people to get to work and do the school run, but local people are being priced off the road.
“It shows out of touch this Tory Government is that they were determined to press ahead with the fuel duty hike until Labour threatened a vote in Parliament.
Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland and Transport Spokesperson, said the decision would benefit our rural region.
He added: ““This decision recognises that for people in South Scotland where many rural parts of the region aren’t always served by regular public transport, running a car is essential for getting about.
“Postponing the fuel duty rise is the right thing to do to support families at a time when they need help.”And
SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, Dr Aileen McLeod today, said: “I am delighted that the SNP was at the forefront of this campaign and the Chancellor’s cave-in comes on the day that our Budget clause, supported by 54 MPs from across nine parties, was due to be tabled ahead of the Finance debates next week.
“The SNP led campaign was gaining momentum every day, with hauliers, business leaders and householders all uniting against a further 3p hike.
“I am very pleased that Chancellor has listened but this is not the end of the battle - he now needs to see sense and deliver investment in the shovel ready projects that we need to get the economy growing.”