>> 25 January 2011


Following Nick Clegg’s visit this week to the North East of Scotland, Gordon MSP Alex Salmond said the LibDem leader would face a backlash over his party’s total u-turn on VAT – which has worsened the impact of cripplingly high fuel prices in the area.

Commenting Alex Salmond said:

“Warm words don’t drive motors. It’s time for the Tory/Liberal Democrat Government to offer hard pressed motorists across Scotland something more than empty promises and vague plans.

“The LibDems are letting Gordon down on fuel tax, the rural fuel discount and VAT. People in the North East recognise that the Lib Dem’s u-turn on VAT has only added to the impact of sky high fuel costs on Scottish motorists.

“In opposition, they opposed a VAT increase and even launched their election poster on the issue in Scotland. Now they are enthusiastically supporting the policy. The UK Government needs to take immediate action by cancelling the planned duty rise in April and introducing a fuel duty regulator.

“With an RAC report suggesting this week that a gallon of fuel could reach £8 in the next few months, Scotland’s significant wealth from North Sea oil should be used to help its people and businesses rather than simply filling Treasury coffers in London.

“The LibDems pre-election promises at Westminster were clearly worthless, and now these failures will haunt them in the lead up to the Holyrood elections in May.

“The SNP is the only party to consistently support hard pressed families and businesses against mounting fuel costs. We are doing what we can to keep costs down for families and businesses with a freeze in the council tax, reduced business rates, and free prescription charges, but the UK government are refusing to act.”

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