Fuel price hike may wipe out islanders’ discount

ISLAND motorists might not see the benefit of a fuel discount scheme because of recent price hikes, a Liberal Democrat MP has warned.

From today, islanders will see a cut of 5p per litre in the price of petrol and diesel. But politicians representing some of Scotland’s islands said they had been told prices had recently gone up.

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Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland, said he was told the prices that garages pay for fuel had risen by 5p in the past two weeks. He said the island discount scheme, being brought in by the UK government, would only work “as long as everybody plays fairly and honourably”.

Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander confirmed in November that the scheme would be piloted in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, islands in the Clyde, the Northern Isles and Scilly.

At the time, Mr Alexander hailed it as “terrific news for communities which have long suffered the effects of high fuel costs”. But Mr Carmichael said there was a danger there would be no price difference.