AFTER a lengthy and, at times, frustrating campaign, North Antrim MP Ian Paisley and other cross-bench parliamentarians have finally managed to persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer to drop his planned 3p rise in Fuel Duty on the 1st August 2012.
The news will be a welcome one for many consumers and businesses around North Antrim and beyond, who have been struggling to cope with the escalating prices of fuel over recent months.
Fuel duty will now be frozen for the rest of the year, a campaign for which Mr Paisley has been fighting vigorously in Parliament. He recently was one of the first MPs to add his name to a proposed amendment to the Finance Act 2011 which called for the scrapping of the 3p rise in fuel duty in August. At the same time he added his name to an Early Day Motion in Parliament which raised MP concerns that the Government is failing to mitigate high fuel prices, whilst also emphasizing the fact that prices in Northern Ireland are particularly high in comparison with the rest of the UK.
The announcement by George Osborne that the duty would be scrapped is a victory for our MP, whose constant efforts in Parliament against the rise have paid off handsomely.
Speaking immediately after the Chancellor’s decision, Mr Paisley said: “This is a great result and an enormous cause for celebration for all concerned in North Antrim. I can’t begin to tell you the endless days and hours I have spent over this campaign lobbying George Osborne directly to have the duty scrapped.
“It took us a while but finally our Chancellor has decided to see sense. This was one of the most hotly debated topics in Westminster this year as we all recognise the enormous extra burden families and businesses are having to face because of the continually growing prices.
“This does not signify the end of the UK’s worries in regards to the recession we are facing, but what this will do is give families that extra breathing space when they go to fill up their cars at the pumps. Hopefully this extra 3p per litre will go a long way in helping our constituents to survive and our businesses to prosper, and I commend the Chancellor for listening to our concerns and for acting in the best interests of our country.”