SNP pushes scrapping of 3p increase in fuel duty

The SNP will this week try to force the UK coalition to scrap a 3p rise in fuel duty.

The SNP will this week try to force the UK coalition to scrap a 3p rise in fuel duty.

The party hopes to force a vote on the planned August rise as the UK Budget completes the final stages of its passage through Westminster.

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The Scottish Chambers of Commerce has backed cross-party action to scrap the increase.

Chief executive Liz Cameron said it would be “a welcome boost for businesses, which are having to contend with high transportation and utility costs at a time when domestic demand remains subdued”.

The cross-party campaign is backed by Fairfuel UK, which has more than 300,000 supporters across the UK and is organised by Peter Carroll, the man behind the successful Gurkha Justice campaign, fronted by Joanna Lumley.

More than 50 MPs from nine parties have pledged to support the SNP-drafted budget clause on the Fairfuel website.

SNP treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie, who has been co-ordinating the cross-party campaign in Westminster, said: “This is welcome support from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce for the cross-party action to halt the fuel hike. It highlights the clear business case for the 3p rise to be scrapped.

“At a time when the economy is stalling, and we already have the highest fuel tax rates in Europe, it would be economic madness for the treasury to press ahead with this further rise.

“Scrapping the rise will ease the burden on households and businesses across the country and, crucially, it will help get the economy moving again. In a Fairfuel poll of nearly 30,000 people and 3,700 businesses, 85 per cent said the fuel duty rise was the most important tax cut to boost economic growth.

“But scrapping the rise is also a matter of social justice as high fuel prices hurt the pockets of those who can afford it least.”

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