The Scottish National Party (SNP) is to table an amendment to the Budget which it says would freeze future increases in fuel duty.
The party is calling for the UK government to introduce a Fuel Duty Regulator which could see the level of duty held down when fuel prices rise and compensated for by the increased VAT revenue on fuel.
It comes after Chancellor George Osborne ruled out scrapping the fuel duty rise scheduled for August which will see prices go up by a further 3.62p a litre.
Commenting as the average price of petrol broke through the 140ppl barrier on Friday, SNP Westminster Transport spokesman Angus MacNeil MP warned that soaring fuel prices were hindering economic recovery, and said that a permanent stabilisation measure would bring prices under control.
“David Cameron needs to stop dithering and start delivering action to bring soaring fuel prices down,” said MacNeil. “His silence at the Tories conference in Troon, on one of the most urgent issues facing households and businesses, underlines how out of touch his party is with people in Scotland.
“It’s a national scandal that, in an oil rich country like Scotland, we are paying the highest fuel prices in Europe. With the bulk of the pump price made up of tax, the Treasury must stop this highway robbery because soaring fuel prices are hindering economic recovery – we need a permanent stabilisation measure to bring prices under control.
“In July 2008, the Tories promised a ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’, describing it as a ‘common sense plan’,” added MacNeil. “As well as being common sense, it is unanswerable and fair for Scotland, given that we pay among the highest fuel prices in Europe even as Scottish oil revenues surge into the UK Exchequer.
“With record North Sea oil and gas revenues flowing to the Treasury, we need to see some of that money used to bring fuel prices down – and to keep them stable – through a fuel duty regulator.
“The Tories and Lib Dems promised action before the election. They have the money – Scotland’s oil money – and the powers to deliver. If Westminster will not act, the powers should be passed to the Scottish Parliament so that it can. If Scotland had control of fuel duty, the SNP government would introduce a fuel duty regulator to lower prices now.”