L-R: Shona Robison, John Swinney, Joe FitzPatrick, Stewart Hosie, Sebastian Nonis
SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney and SNP politicians in Dundee were at the Forfar Road Service Station in Dundee today today demanding that David Cameron scrap the fuel duty rise and introduce a fair fuel stabiliser in next week’s budget.
Mr Swinney was joined by Dundee West MSP Joe FitzPatrick, Dundee East MSP and Minister for Public Health Shona Robison, and the SNP’s shadow Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP at the Jet Garage owned by Sebastian Nonis.
The monthly AA fuel price survey shows the average petrol and diesel prices have risen by up to five pence a litre in the past month with Diesel prices in Shetland today on the verge of hitting £1.50 per litre.
Increased revenue from rising fuel prices is set to make the Treasury an additional £4 billion or £3000 for every man, woman and child in Scotland. Using half the additional windfall revenues from oil prices to cut fuel tax would reduce fuel in Scotland by 50p per litre or across the whole of the UK by 5p per litre
Speaking at the garage, John Swinney said: “Scotland now has the highest diesel prices in the European Union.
“It is a cruel irony that some of the highest prices are in Shetland at a petrol station by one of Europe’s major oil terminals.
“David Cameron must hear the voice of thousands of Scots who can no longer afford the rising prices and higher taxes that are lining the Treasury coffers.
“The rising cost of fuel is harming our economy but making an extra £4 billion for the treasury. Putting just half of that £4 billion toward reducing fuel costs could cut 50p off a litre of fuel in Scotland or 5p across the whole of the UK.
“When it comes to fuel prices Labour has let Scotland down and the Tories have turned their backs. Labour’s refusal to back the SNP’s calls for fair fuel prices have allowed fuel prices to rise so high it costs £1000 more this month to fill up a lorry than it did last month – costs that will end up with the consumers.
“When the SNP called for the whole Parliament to back not just lower fuel prices but fair fuel prices Labour let motorists and businesses down by abstaining on the vote.
“I am now calling on David Cameron to tell the Conservative conference today not only that he will freeze duty but that he will introduce fair fuel prices in this week’s budget and Scotland’s motorists will no longer be used as a cash cow for the UK Government.”
Accompanying Mr Swinney was the MSP for Dundee West, Joe FitzPatrick who is also a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee. He said: “Today’s AA report showing the average UK petrol and diesel prices have risen by up to five pence a litre in the past month just underline how this issue is building up to be a major issue on the coming Scottish elections.
“The SNP is the only party to consistently back a fuel duty stabiliser and fair fuel prices. The Tories have not introduced one and Labour will not vote for one.”
Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie, a member of the Finance Committe at Westminster said: “David Cameron must confirm today that the fuel duty increase will not just be postponed but fuel duty will be cut and a stabiliser introduced.
“We cannot have a situation where the cost of taking goods to market has increased by £1000 in a month, a cost that most businesses will have to pass on to the customer.
“Rising prices and rising taxes are hitting business, motorists and family budgets. The cost of fuel hits our public services, our buses and all our budgets – yet the Treasury is making the equivalent of £3000 for every man, woman and child in Scotland.”
The SNP MSP for Dundee East, Shona Robison, Scotland’s Public Health Minister commented: “When the Tory Government is cutting spending and raising taxes spending more money on fuel risks breaking Scotland’s economic recovery.”
“We must send that message loud and clear to the Tories in London ahead of next week’s budget and motorists can sign the SNP’s fair fuel petition and submit their local prices at the SNP website so we can take that case to Westminster.
“The SNP and people across Scotland are very clear. The Tories must cut fuel duty and cut it now.”