>> 29 June 2010

Gordon MSP Alex Salmond has joined calls to drive down fuel prices in the North East, as figures show this week that drivers in Scotland pay 11p more per litre of diesel than any other country in Europe - as a result of the Treasury tax take. Official figures on fuel prices across the continent show diesel now costs 122.8p a litre in Scotland, 39.2p more than in Cyprus, where drivers pay the least.

This week, the SNP made a direct plea to Lib-Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, to act on these rising prices. The SNP has been campaigning for fair fuel prices in the oil-capital of Europe of some time, and believe a fair fuel regulator to protect consumers from volatile fuel prices is now essential.

Commenting, Mr Salmond said:

"It’s a national scandal that, in the oil-capital of Europe, we are still paying sky-high fuel prices.

"There was no relief for North East motorists in the recent Budget, but the Treasury must act because soaring fuel prices are actually hindering economic recovery from recession.

"We need action on fuel prices immediately not more Treasury consultations and delays. Other countries already operate derogations successfully and there is absolutely no reason why the Treasury cannot implement a similar system in Scotland as well.

"Before the election, Malcolm Bruce the LibDems were shouting from the rooftops about fuel prices, but since taking office in the Treasury Danny Alexander seems to have forgotten about the plight of motorists and businesses in the North of Scotland. The LibDems must stand and deliver on fair fuel prices and put an end to Labour’s highway robbery."

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