Long backs fair fuel campaign

East Belfast MP Naomi Long has announced her backing for a campaign aiming to see an upcoming 3p rise in fuel duty scrapped.

The Alliance MP made the call by declaring support for Fair Fuel UK, a movement designed to get the proposed increase by the Government cancelled. Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the plan, scheduled to come into effect on 1st August, during March’s Budget.

This is despite claims that rising fuel costs have been harming the UK economy, with the cost of diesel and petrol at the pump having been estimated to have risen25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively over the past two years.

Northern Ireland is at the top of the price list, with a recent survey by motoring association the AA revealing drivers here pay about 1.5p above the national average.

Mrs Long said she hoped other local MPs followed her in supporting Fair Fuel UK, which has also received backing from various motoring groups and hundreds of thousands of members of the public.

“Fuel duty has a direct impact on Northern Ireland’s economic competitiveness and also has a huge bearing on the budgets of ordinary families,” she said.

“The chancellor had an opportunity to take a stand on this issue during the recent Budget but sadly decided to raise it by 3p come August.

“There is a danger this move could push up the price of everyday items such as food, as supermarkets and other retailers try to recover the increased cost of transporting goods. Higher fuel prices could also place at risk the livelihoods of many smaller companies, who may find it tough to pass on the price increase to customers, potentially forcing them out of business.

“It is vital we see this proposed rise abandoned and I would call on all MPs to join me in pledging to support the Fair Fuel movement.”


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