U-turn needed on fuel duty and VAT

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called for a U-turn on fuel duty and VAT.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament she called on the UK government to help hard-pressed families and businesses by reversing the VAT increase and abandoning the planned fuel duty rise.

“The impact is devastating, not just for drivers, but for everyone, particularly for those on low and fixed incomes. Costs will rise for public transport and distribution, which will push up inflation and increase food prices and other costs, not just fuel costs. We should not add to people’s burden with a further fuel duty increase.”

Cathy noted that many drivers were already driving more economically as a result of higher prices, and called for publicity for eco-driving techniques that could save families hundreds of pounds.

Cathy said that the problem was not just prices in remote areas.

“I never tire of reminding people that Grangemouth and the surrounding area have the busiest Scottish port and a major refinery, and they are a significant location for road and rail hauliers and supermarket distribution. Fuel costs that affect my constituency affect everyone.”

Cathy said that while at first glance, the idea of a fuel price stabiliser was attractive, it was not a straightforward solution – as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander had acknowledged, saying that “It’s a complicated idea and it’s difficult to see precisely how we achieve it”

Reversing the VAT increase on fuel would be preferable, said Cathy: “The VAT route would be quick, simple and easy to implement, and it would be easier to forecast the benefits and costs of it.”

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