Thursday, 20 January 2011

Discount fuel scheme for rural areas?

With Unleaded fuel now costing around 130p a litre and Diesel around 134p a litre on Ynys Môn (source), this is just a quick post to say how glad I am to see that the Coalition is considering introducing a discount fuel scheme to help drivers living in remote areas, including West Wales. This would be in addition to separate proposals for a fuel duty stabiliser, which would seek to keep fuel prices steady by counter adjusting the amount of duty added to forecourt prices according to the price of oil.

This is what Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury told BBC1's politics show earlier this week:

"We are already also taking steps, and we are the first Government that's done this, to put in place a fuel duty discount scheme for remote communities where the prices are absolutely highest, something previous governments refused to do."

Unfortunately, according to the BBC, it seems it could take some time to implement:

"The UK needs EU permission to charge different fuel duty rates around the country. Ministers hope to make a formal request after the Budget.
EU law means the UK would need the European Commission to propose the scheme, and the EU's finance ministers to unanimously support the idea at an ECOFIN meeting.
Once the request is made by the UK, it will take three months for the commission to draw up a proposal and several further months for it to be agreed. Only then would a pilot scheme be possible."

The pilot scheme, which will provide a discount of up to 5p per litre of petrol or diesel, will apparently be rolled out in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, and the Isles of Scilly. If it is successful it will also be introduced to the Scottish Highlands, Western Isles, West Wales and parts of England and Northern Ireland.

The VAT rise is not ideal (I have always personally questioned why VAT is even levied on fuel considering how much duty is anyway applied) but at least the government is looking at ways of addressing the issue of higher fuel prices in rural areas like Ynys Môn.


Photon said...

According to Radio 4, you're right to be concerned about the time to implementation; it's widely felt that the increased tax income is too valuable to the deficit-cutting to clamp-down on too soon. It's clearly something that they won't move on until public unrest starts stirring. Anther day in politics...

the outsider said...

there is also the question of potential petrol station closures if the volume of petrol sales reduce because of higher prices and lower economic activity on the island. Maybe the Druid or his followers, can pull together a plan of the important strategic locations where petrol stations are found on the island at present, identifying not only those that serve the main route ways but those that service remote areas, where the loss of the station may cause big problems for local mobility and would result in more mileage and cost being incurred by local people. Then look for ways, in the short term, while the EU gets its very slow act together, to be able to offer support to retain any petrol station that might otherwise close. After all once they are gone it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Central London unleaded is over £1.50 a litre.

Will they qualify for rural relief?

Anonymous said...

Whenever I see the term West Wales I think of Carmarthenshire.Cardigan.Pembs.

Aren't we North Wales?

Anonymous said...

This is one definition of West Wales
"West Wales is the western area of Wales bordered by South Wales to the east. The area is defined as including parts of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and southern areas of Ceredigon. The area also includes the picturesque Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.The area covers 1,312,900 hectares, (63.2% of the land mass of Wales) and has a population of 1,907,195."

So we wont be in the pilot scheme then. Next story please.

Anonymous said...

Only if you live on Hampstead Heath.

Photon said...

"The UK needs EU permission to charge different fuel duty rates around the country. Ministers hope to make a formal request after the Budget."

It just struck ne that this is very odd. When Cameron talks about adhering to the ECtHR judgement about giving prisoners the vote, he chooses to bluster about derogation from the ECHR and then moves to, in effect, ignore the judgement.

Why can't he also, then, ignore the requirements on fuel duty?

Anonymous said...


You are mixing ECHR with EU.

Anonymous said...

I don't like to confuse you all, but the fairest way would be to reduce the road tax we pay in rural areas, now that would be intersting, we pay road tax duty, the same as anyone else, yet our cost of living including fuel is more expensive, rural vehicle owners should pay less road tax...only a suggestion....think aboout ir druid please.