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Sunday 20th May 2012 | 10:03
The SNP called for the scrapping of the August 3 pence rise in fuel duty and the introduction of a fuel duty regulator after the latest figures released by the European Commission showed UK fuel tax was approaching 60 per cent of the cost of fuel.
The proportion of tax levied on fuel by the UK Treasury is the highest amongst all EU members at 58.6% for unleaded and 56.8% for diesel.
SNP Transport Spokesperson Angus MacNeil MP warned that soaring fuel prices were holding back economic recovery and called on the UK Government to recognise how its road fuel taxes are impacting on the transport industry, including bus services and fares, as well as hauliers and households.
Mr MacNeil said: “The UK Government needs to end this highway robbery that is choking back economic recovery.
“In July 2008, George Osborne launched plans for a ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’, describing it as a ‘common sense plan’. Instead of following common sense they have plans for a further 3 pence rise when we already face the highest fuel taxes in Europe.
“Excuses that it would be too difficult to introduce a regulatory mechanism are wearing thin. There is a momentum building across Europe for action on fuel. Germany has now become the third European country after Austria and Denmark to sign up to price regulation.
“The SNP is leading calls at Westminster for the 3p rise in duty to be scrapped. We will also be tabling amendments to the budget to bring in a fuel duty regulator.
“If Westminster will not act, the powers should be passed to the Scottish Parliament so that it can. If Scotland had control of fuel duty, the SNP government would introduce a fuel duty regulator to lower prices now.”