Financial News

  • 25 January 2014, 15:53

More Rural Areas Could Get 5p Cut In Fuel Duty

Fuel duty in a further seven remote rural areas that have high prices at the pumps could be cut by up to 5p a litre.

The Government has already asked the European Commission to consider including 10 areas in the Highlands, Argyll, Cumbria, Devon and North Yorkshire under the duty discount scheme.

It now wants to add postal areas in Strathcarron, Ullapool, Lairg, Mallaig and Halkirk in the Highlands; Oban in Argyll and Bute; and Hexham in Northumberland to the application.

If approved, it could benefit about 125,000 people, according to the Treasury.

Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander, a Highlands MP, said: "High fuel prices in areas where cars are a necessity, not a luxury, is a major issue in rural communities across the UK.

"So, following a supplementary call for information, I'm pleased to announce that seven new areas will join the 10 areas already part of our new application.

"Reaching agreement with the commission will not be easy, but we will now get on with making that case as strongly as we can."

The scheme was first launched in the Hebrides, Northern Isles, islands in the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly in March 2012.

It allows retailers there to register with HM Revenue and Customs to claim back 5p a litre on unleaded petrol and diesel within eligible areas.

A final decision on the Government's proposed expansion of the scheme is expected from the EC later this year.

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