Salmond and Thomson Step Up Drive For Fairer Fuel Prices

>> 12 April 2010

Gordon SNP Westminster Candidate, Richard Thomson, was joined on the election trail on Saturday (10 April) by local MSP and First Minister, Alex Salmond, as the party took its campaign for fair fuel prices nationwide.Mr Salmond and Mr Thomson were joined by supporters at the Strathbogie filling station on the A96 just outside Huntly, where they highlighted the burden being placed on Scottish families by rising fuel prices.

The average price of a litre of petrol across Scotland has now exceeded £1.20 with the price in rural parts of Scotland now reaching as much as £1.30.

Mr Salmond hit out at the London parties who have failed to tackle the problem of rising fuel prices and said that the only way to reduce the impact of price hikes was to elect an SNP champion.

While Labour MPs voted for a price hike and were supported in this during a BBC Politics Show interview by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg on 21 March [Transcript available on request], only SNP MPs have pushed for fairer fuel prices across the board through the introduction of a road fuel regulator – a mechanism which would see rates of duty cut when the basic price of petrol or diesel increases.

Commenting, Mr Salmond said:

"Sky high fuel taxes imposed by Gordon Brown, and latterly Alistair Darling, are indiscriminate and effectively a poll tax on wheels.

"Rocketing prices are disastrous for the rural economies such as Gordon where a car is not a luxury - it's a necessity.

"Here in Huntly, prices at already edging above £1.20 and in some parts of Scotland a litre of fuel is almost £1.30. Filling up a family car now costs the best part of £100.

"The effects of high fuel taxes also impact on prices in the stores with costs rising to deliver food and other products to the shops. That's why at this election, if the people of Scotland want to drive down fuel prices, instead of electing a London politician they must elect a local champion like Richard.”

Mr Thomson added:

“This is an issue we've been campaigning on in Gordon for a while now. I've been very critical of certain retailers who sell petrol and diesel at different prices in Aberdeen City to that which they charge at their outlets in the shire, and will continue to pursue this. However, we should never lose sight of the fact that almost three quarters of the price we pay at the pumps is set by the Westminster Government, and goes straight to the Treasury in tax.

"Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats have failed to tackle rising fuel prices at successive Budgets but they can make amends by supporting the SNP's call for a road fuel regulator.

"I know the impact rising fuel prices are having in this constituency and across the country. Driving down prices is essential to Scotland, to Scotland's economy and to Scotland's families.

“London politicians simply do not understand the impact rising fuel prices are having on families and businesses across Scotland. In the SNP, we'll continue to make this an election issue both locally and nationally until we get the fair play on fuel that the country needs.”

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