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Stone says cut in rural fuel duty to 10p a litre would save Highland motorists hundreds of pounds

By Gordon Calder

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FAR north MP, Jamie Stone, has backed a call for rural fuel duty to be cut by 10p a litre and says that would save motorists in the Highlands hundreds of pounds.

The Caithness, Sutherland and easter Ross Liberal Democrat MP wants Rural Duty Rate Relief doubled from five to 10 pence a litre and for the scheme to be expanded to more areas during the current spike in fuel prices.

He signed a motion tabled by newly elected Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord on his first day in Parliament calling for the cut, and is now urging Conservative MPs in rural communities to do the same.

Jamie Stone wants fuel duty cut to double to 10p a litre
Jamie Stone wants fuel duty cut to double to 10p a litre

The move follows the historic Liberal Democrat by-election victory in Tiverton and Honiton last Thursday, overturning the biggest majority ever in a by-election.

Combined with the party’s plans to slash VAT to 17.5 per cent, the fuel duty cut would save a typical driver in the north of Scotland £7.60 each time they fill up their car, or almost £200 a year for those who fill up their car twice a month.

Mr Stone said: "People are struggling with the rising cost of fuel but the Government has failed to act to shield families in my constituency from soaring prices at the pump.

"The historic Liberal Democrat victory in Tiverton and Honiton must act as a wake-up call to the Conservatives that they must do more to support communities like Caithness, Sutherland and easter Ross instead of taking them for granted.

"That’s why I’m delighted Richard Foord has used his first day to table a motion in Parliament that calls for urgent action to cut the cost of fuel. This would immediately cut 10p off the price of fuel and offer immediate relief to those being hardest hit across the north of Scotland.

"Conservative MPs should join us in the campaign to cut fuel duty and slash VAT, because it's the right thing to do for those we represent. I'm hoping they’ll be able to put politics aside and support this campaign."

Recent research by the Countryside Alliance has found rural households will spend over £2,440 a year on filling up their cars, £800 more than those in urban areas.

Fuel duty relief is currently offered to fuel retailers in specific remote parts of the UK. The 5p per litre relief is passed directly onto consumers through lower prices at the pump.

The Liberal Democrats have said the support provided under the scheme should be significantly expanded to cover other rural areas where drivers are being disproportionately hit by rising fuel prices, and doubled to 10p a litre.

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