Speaking ahead of a debate in the House of Commons today on the impact of the rising cost of fuel, Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long MP said: “The rocketing prices are hitting everyone pretty hard and those living and working in rural areas, such as farmers, or whose businesses are heavily fuel-reliant, such as haulage firms and taxi drivers, are being particularly badly affected. The increase in VAT and global market pressures have pushed up fuel prices to a level which is simply unsustainable.
“There are two issues which need to be addressed urgently by Government to deal with the high price of fuel. Firstly, I believe that they need to move quickly to introduce a fuel duty stabiliser. As the price of fuel rises, there needs to be a mechanism to balance this with a reduction in duty, so that the Treasury does not benefit at the expense of fuel purchasers from global price rises.
“Secondly, the Government, having recognised that those living and working in more remote regions are harder hit by fuel price rises, now needs to develop plans for a form of regional discount or rebate, to help balance out that variation.
“In the medium term, we also need to address demand for fossil fuels. An increase in the use of, and research into, renewable energy sources could help to alleviate pressures on supply and increase energy security. Another way to address demand would be to encourage more people to switch to public transport, so improving our bus and rail infrastructure could make a real difference.”