Edward Leigh has thrown his support behind calls for the Government to cut fuel duty and vowed to raise the issue in Parliament on behalf of his constituents.
The Conservative who represents the rural Gainsborough Constituency has blasted what he calls a ‘vicious’ form of taxation, after Chancellor George Osborne took no action to protect the pennies of motorists in last month’s budget. Mr. Leigh said:
“Clearly people in rural areas and small industrial market towns like Gainsborough suffer more than they do in big cities.
“Wages are lower and the cost of getting around is rising all the time, yet they are heavily reliant on using a car.
“I have raised the issue of fuel duty before and I will continue to raise it once Parliament returns on 16th April.”
Fuel prices across the UK have increased sharply in recent years with forecourts charging all-time highs. In Gainsborough there had been growing anger last year that motorists pay on average 3p more per litre of fuel than in nearby towns. A litre of unleaded petrol cost £1.31.9 and diesel was £1.36.9 last year.
Today it is around 10p higher, with prices in Gainsborough reaching £1.41.9 per litre for unleaded and £1.48.9 for diesel.
The price gap between Gainsborough and its closest towns Retford and Scunthorpe has narrowed to around 1p.
But for the cheapest fuel, motorists might be better off filling up 20 miles away in Lincoln where prices are as low as £1.36.9.
In the recent budget Mr. Osborne decided to delay an increase until August when it will rise by 3p a litre. Commenting Mr. Leigh said:
“It is a particularly vicious form of taxation.
“Of course I would have liked to have seen it cut. But the reason for these ridiculously high levels of fuel duty is the country is near bankruptcy.
“We are in a desperately dangerous situation and there is no other way out of the black hole we are in.”
Mr. Leigh wants his constituents to write to him with their experiences and opinions.
Cllr. Chris Underwood-Frost welcomed the local parliamentarian’s intervention, saying:
“We know there is a problem with the national debt but the solution is to stimulate the economy, not literally force people out of their cars.
“The rural economy is just as vital as any other industry in any other city.
“My plea is for everyone to write to their MP, who we trust to represent the views of the rural community.”