WESTERN ISLES SNP MSP Alasdair Allan is to speak in a Scottish Government hosted parliamentary debate today (Wednesday, March 2), on what he calls “the ongoing scandal” of fuel prices.
The debate calls of the UK Government to halt their planned fuel duty rise and to introduce a fuel duty regulator.
Dr Allan commented: “Throughout the whole four years I have been MSP in the Western Isles no subject has given rise to more anxiety than the price of fuel. This week I will be using one of the last debates in the present parliament to raise issues that have been of concern since I was first elected.
“I will be pointing out in the debate the fuel prices in the Western Isles are not just worse than practically anywhere else in Scotland, but worse that almost anywhere I have heard of in the world.”
He continued: “I am pleased to see the Scottish Government making very clear demands of the UK Government, given that Westminster controls the whole issue of fuel taxation. I would like to see that power brought under Scottish control so that a Scottish Government could use it in a way that heard the concerns of rural Scotland.
“Meantime, however, as I will say in parliament, we have to press the Tory/Lib-dem Government to belatedly honour its promises to cut fuel duty in island areas by five pence per litre.
“So far all they have done is put fuel prices up through VAT rises. This week’s debate is a chance to ensure that island fuel prices are at the very heart of the forthcoming election campaign in Scotland and to demand that the UK Government abandon any idea of fuel duty increases that would penalise the islands further.”
Dr Allan added: “It’s time that we had a fuel duty regulator to ensure that taxes are brought down at the time when the price of oil rockets.
“The economy of the Highlands and Islands will never flourish, as it should, until this long standing grievance is settled – I am glad that the Scottish Government is on the same side of this debate as islanders.”