Scotland demands action on fuel price hikes

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has written to UK Chancellor George Osborne demanding action to tackle rising fuel prices. Mr Swinney called on the UK government to establish a fuel […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has written to UK Chancellor George Osborne demanding action to tackle rising fuel prices.

Mr Swinney called on the UK government to establish a fuel duty regulator to ensure that high oil prices result in cuts in duty, keeping overall fuel prices in check.

Mr Swinney said: “It is simply unacceptable that in energy-rich Scotland, motorists and businesses are facing pump prices that have reached over £1.40 a litre in some areas.

“Coupled with the UK government’s recent VAT rise, these record fuel costs are putting a huge and unnecessary amount of pressure on our communities and on vital sectors of the Scottish economy, and risk choking the recovery we are building in Scotland.”

He added: “With a further rise in duty scheduled for April, Westminster must take urgent action to tackle this. The Chancellor will collect around £12bn in tax on North Sea oil revenues this year – around £2bn more than expected if oil prices remain at their elevated levels – so he has the resource to bring the relief motorists and local economies desperately need.”

Mr Swinney said introducing a fuel duty regulator would “support the recovery, increase consumer demand and strengthen growth in our economy”.