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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD WARNS AGAINST FUEL TAX HIKE

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford and SNP colleagues are calling on the UK Government to scrap next weeks planned 2p increase on fuel prices - warning the hike could hinder economic recovery.

The SNP has vigorously opposed previous fuel price rises and Eilidh Whiteford says it is a tax on rural Scotland where car use is a necessity and not a luxury.

With fuel prices once again over one pound per litre the SNP candidate believes that for many families and rural businesses the planned tax hike will put yet more pressure on stretched budgets.

Speaking ahead of the next week's tax deadline the SNP's Eilidh Whiteford said:

"Pushing up fuel prices is absolutely the wrong thing to do in the grip of recession and this increase could actually hinder economic recovery.

"Just when the UK government should be stimulating the economy, the Treasury is intent on slapping another 2p on the price of petrol and diesel - hitting already hard-pressed households and businesses. The increase is especially damaging for the haulage industry.

"Fuel duty now accounts for about 71 pence of every pound the motorist spends at the pump and for areas like Banff & Buchan where many have no choice but to use cars this is a severe financial burden.

"Increases in fuel duty are not a green tax, they are a Brown one, and people across Scotland have had their fill of Labours fuel duty increases. What Treasury Ministers in London forget is that for people in rural areas, a car is a necessity and not a luxury.

"On the back of an income tax hike affecting the lowest paid a further tax increase would be simply scandalous."

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