Petrol price concession unveiled

The Government has announced plans to introduce a scheme to reduce the cost of petrol in remote parts of the country.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander revealed Government representatives were in talks with their European counterparts to discuss plans to introduce a duty discount of up to 5p per litre of fuel in some rural areas.

Mr Alexander revealed the Government wants to pilot the scheme in such far-flung places like the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Orkney and the Shetland Islands, and the Isles of Scilly, and admitted that the scheme could be extended to include other areas in the future.

Addressing the Scottish Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Dunfermline in Fife, Mr Alexander warned that introducing the measure would "not be easy" as the European Commission has to give its backing.

He said: "I can announce today that with my approval Treasury officials have started the process of engaging with the European Commission on our detailed plans."

Mr Alexander insisted that the Government would do everything in its power to implement the price relief measure.

He added: "We want to introduce a pilot scheme that will deliver a 5 pence duty discount on litre of fuel in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles and the Isles of Scilly.

"It will take time to deliver, but this plan will make a real difference to people in remote island communities.

"It will not fully remove the price difference that exists, but it will relieve some of the extra costs."

Mr Alexander revealed the Government was trying to introduce the scheme because people in the most remote parts of the country have been hit by a "triple whammy" of high fuel costs, having to drive long distances and having poor public transport.

Rural residents might also be boosted by the fact that their car insurance premiums are typically lower than those living in urban areas, where car theft is more commonplace.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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