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Fuel Duty Increase will hurt Ceredigion - Mark Williams

September 1, 2009 9:59 AM

Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has expressed his concern at the2p increase in fuel duty that will be implemented from 1st September.

The increase was announced in the Budget, and despite a 15% increase inthe price of petrol in the last six months, Chancellor of the ExchequerAlistair Darling is continuing to press ahead with the rise in duty.

Rural areas pay a premium for their petrol because of transportationcosts and a lack of competition. The Liberal Democrats have madeseveral attempts to introduce a rural rebate on fuel duty, which wouldbring prices into line with those in urban areas, but the LabourGovernment and the Conservatives have always refused to support thismove.

Commenting, Mark Williams said:

"The increase in fuel duty will place an added burden on Welshbusinesses and individuals, when many are still struggling from theeffects of the recession. In rural areas such as Ceredigion this willbe even more problematic.

"We have long argued that there should be a rural fuel rebate to assistthose who have to pay higher fuel prices because they live in a remotearea.

"Pump prices don't look like they'll reach last year's levels, but thosecosts had a big effect on local businesses, and with this rise coming ata time when most have had a more challenging year, I fear that for manysmaller businesses that rely on road transport this could be the strawthat breaks the camel's back.

"What is particularly disappointing is that the concept of greentaxation is being devalued because the Government is using fuel duty asa cash cow, rather than as a device to ensure that unnecessary journeyscan be reduced."