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North-east and Highlands lead the way in action to cut fuel tax as MPs prepare to debate

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The north-east and Highlands are leading the way in a UK petition calling for a reduction in fuel tax as MPs prepare to debate the matter on Monday night.

Six out of 10 of the top UK constituencies who have signed a petition calling to reduce fuel duty and VAT by 40% for a period of 2 years are based in Scotland, with five of those from the north-east and Highlands.

The petition was provided on 17 November last year, with the debate scheduled as families across the country feel the pinch from the cost of living crisis and escalating fuel costs.

Calls to reduce cost of driving

Banff and Buchan, whose MP is David Duguid, topped the table with 500 signatures, followed by Gordon in third place (391 signatures), Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in fifth place (359), Moray in sixth (355), Falkirk in seventh (319) and Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross in 10th place with 299 signatures.

The petition, which has over 102,000 signatures, states: “The Government should reduce the cost of fuel through a reduction of 40% in fuel duty and VAT for 2 years. This can effectively offset the rise in fuel prices since 2020.”

Petrol prices: New record hit as increases continue across Aberdeen, Elgin and Highlands

Ahead of the debate, the Petitions Committee conducted a survey to examine the impact on petitioners of rising fuel costs. From the responses to the survey, the Committee found that:

  • Despite rising costs, many respondents said they had to drive for their job, or to access essential services
  • 62% of respondents said rising fuel costs have had a ‘significant effect’ on their social life with 38% saying fuel prices have also had a ‘significant effect’ on their ability to do their job or run their business
  • Many respondents said they were having to make difficult sacrifices to get by and called for the Government to do more to reduce the cost of driving.

In its response to the petition the UK government said: “The Government is taking targeted action to help families across the UK with the cost of living, which includes freezing fuel duty in 2022-23, the twelfth consecutive year.”

The debate, which will take place in Westminster Hall from 18:00 and last up to 90 minutes, will be available to view on Parliament TV and on YouTube.

Fuel prices climb to new record highs

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