PRESS RELEASE: LOCAL MSP SAYS OFT REPORT SHOWS NEED FOR FUEL DUTY REGULATOR FOR HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS

Independent Highlands and Islands MSP Jean Urquhart has today highlighted an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Report into Road Fuels, saying that it has proven the need for a Fuel Duty Regulator in the Highlands and Islands.

The OFT Report found that, in August 2012, rural areas paid on average 1.9pence per litre (ppl) more for petrol and 1.7ppl more for diesel than urban areas due to the presence of fewer retailers and transport costs for getting fuel to rural forecourts. The OFT Report also found that fuel price rises over the last 10 years have been primarily caused by higher crude oil prices and increases in taxes and duties.

Discussing the OFT’s findings, Jean said:

“The UK has some of the cheapest road fuel prices in Europe before taxes are applied, but these prices are drastically increased at the pump.

“24ppl of the 60ppl rise in the last 10 years is directly due to taxes and duties rather than market forces.

“Consumers and businesses across the Highlands and Islands are being relentlessly punished by a tax regime that does not recognise the necessity of affordable fuel for the economic sustainability of the region.

“I urge the Liberal Democrat MPs in the Highlands and Islands to use what influence they have within the Coalition to deliver a better deal for their constituents by introducing the Fuel Duty Regulator the Highlands and Islands so desperately needs.”

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