Responding to the announcement recently by HM Treasury of plans to extend the island fuel rebate to remote inland areas, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said that the 5p per litre fuel duty cut should apply across the whole of the UK.
Petrol retailers and customers in 35 counties have been asked by the Treasury to provide details of prices they charge for petrol and diesel as the government prepares to seek permission from the European Commission (EC) to extend the island fuel rebate scheme.
The fuel duty discount pilot scheme for remote island communities was introduced in March 2012, and applied to the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, the islands in the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly.
Whilst FTA has said it is pleased about how the proposed fuel duty cut would help stimulate growth in the rural economy, it is calling on government to make the duty cut across the UK. The Association said that the reduction should not only be applied to rural drivers but must be implemented across the whole of the country.
James Hookham, FTA Director of Policy and Communications commented:
"Today’s announcement by the Treasury is clear recognition that the government accepts the need for a cut in fuel duty. The proposed ‘rural’ 5p per litre cut will obviously help the UK’s rural economy, but FTA strongly believes that this should not be introduced purely in rural areas but insists it should be applied across the country. If 5p a litre cut will stimulate the growth in rural areas, just think what it could do if applied across the country"
"FTA has long campaigned for a cut in fuel duty as a way help encourage growth in the economy. We know from our members that spiralling fuel costs are bad for businesses, hauliers and road users, and can have a devastating impact on haulage businesses, their customers and ultimately everyone through the prices on the shelves."
FTA backs the FairFuelUK campaign which has been spurred forward by the logistics industry, and since it was formed in 2011 has helped to secure a better deal for Britain’s hauliers and motorists.