NORTH Antrim MP, Ian Paisley, has been continuing his fight against the rising prices of fuel in Parliament recently. His main objective has been to encourage the Coalition government to scrap their planned 3pence rise per litre of fuel duty on 1st August which he believes is crippling small businesses and the economy.
In recent developments Fair Fuel UK, an organisation who Paisley has been working in close conjunction with and who oppose rising fuel prices, have presented the Prime Minster and the Treasury with a robust study by the Centre for Business and Economic Research (CEBR) which shows that actually reducing fuel duty creates jobs, raises GDP and, crucially, is revenue neutral to the Treasury. It is hoped that this latest report will go some way in influencing the Treasury to rethink their planned 3p rise.
Also circulating Westminster is a proposed amendment to the Finance Act 2011 which Paisley and others across opposition parties have been working toward in an attempt to persuade the Chancellor and others to reverse their planned rise.
Signing the amendment signals support from the MP for the scrapping of the 3p rise in petrol and diesel duty and Paisley was one of the first MPs to add his name. The hope is that Government will take notice of the Amendment and to recognise the financial hardship their continuous rises are putting UK citizens under.
Paisley has also added his name to an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons on High Fuel Prices. The motion illustrates opposition MPs concerns that the Government is failing to mitigate high fuel prices, whilst also emphasizing the higher adverse effects that people in rural areas, who rely more on the car as a mode of transport are experiencing and also those elderly and young people who are becoming socially and economically dislocated over the issue. The motion notes that fuel prices in Northern Ireland are particularly high in comparison to the rest of the UK and encourages Government to alleviate the burden for those struggling with the soaring cost of petrol.
Speaking this week from Westminster Paisley said:
“This issue has now become absolutely critical. The fact of the matter is that people and small businesses in particular cannot afford to put fuel in their cars which is extremely detrimental for social mobility and also for our economy.
“For too long we have heard from the Treasury that they must raise revenue from somewhere and that they have held off fuel increases already. This excuse has simply run too thin. The fact of the matter is that crude oil prices are continually rising and they’re not going to go down anytime soon. These are unprecedented times for world energy and our current fuel duty regime is out of step with the soaring price of crude. It’s simply unsustainable to keep increasing tax on a commodity that is rising as well.
“I have been urging the Government to take note of the report from the CEBR, which emphasizes heavily what we already know – that rising fuel prices are hurting our economy, costing jobs and are actually detrimental to Government revenue. What must be taken into account is that lower fuel prices would instigate public confidence in this Government and encourage people to invest in their companies, which will in turn create jobs and raise revenue for the Treasury. The Government said it when they gained power but their actions are not in line with their words, that small businesses are the heart of the UK economy and that we must rely on them to get us out of this recession. Well right now all I can see is Government punishing and hurting small businesses with high and unsustainable fuel costs.
“This is a crucial moment in our Nation’s history and the matter is now one of social justice. The excessive fuel prices are detrimental to growth, losing jobs and contributing to this double dip recession. I firmly believe that party loyalty must go from the Conservatives and common sense must prevail, so as to ensure that our UK citizens can actually afford to fuel their cars and to run their businesses. Let’s hope these recent initiatives in Westminster go some way towards encourage the Treasury to see sense before it is too late and our economy is destroyed.”