Long welcomes delay in fuel duty increase

East Belfast MP Naomi Long has welcomed the freezing of fuel duty for the rest of the year but warned more must be done to ensure the move is a permanent one.

She was speaking after Chancellor George Osborne announced the Government would not go ahead with the proposed 3p-a-litre rise, planned for August, and that it would stay the same for the remainder of 2012.

Alliance MP Mrs Long, who has previously declared her support for the Fair Fuel UK anti-rise movement, said pressure had forced the Government into a U-turn but cautioned the fight against rising fuel duty was not yet over.

“This news will certainly be well received by many people across the spectrum of society, from ordinary families struggling with the recession to organisations hoping to create business, as fuel duty has a direct impact on our economic attractiveness.

“A recent survey by the AA showed motorists in Northern Ireland paid about 1.5p more for fuel than the national average. Therefore this freeze is especially welcome here, however, the danger is any rise has still not been abandoned completely.

“Any rise could push up the price of everyday items such as food and place at risk the livelihood of smaller businesses in particular, as they increase prices to cover transport costs and potentially end up going out of business. It is important we continue to push to see the proposed rise cancelled fully.”


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