Island prices go up after fuel duty discount news
- 15 September 2011
- From the section Highlands & Islands
Petrol and diesel prices have gone up at some garages on the Western Isles following approval of a motor fuel duty discount, a senior councillor has said.
Alex MacDonald, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's convener, said the 5p per litre tax discount was welcome.
But he said the UK government's announcement on the scheme was followed by prices going up at pumps on Lewis.
The scheme covers the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, islands in the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly.
On Wednesday, the UK government said the European Commission had agreed rates of taxation on petrol and diesel could be reduced as proposed by ministers.
Government sources said it could take a number of months for the scheme to be implemented.
Mr MacDonald said: "I'm not blaming the garages for this but I think questions need to be asked of the distributors as to whether or not they are doing this because of their anticipation of a 5p reduction in prices.
"There's no point in reducing fuel by 5p a litre if the benefit is lost overnight and the consumers continue to pay inflated prices.
"The same thing happened when the Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, visited the Western Isles a few months ago and there was anticipation that he would announce the scheme.
"Almost overnight prices went up by 4p a litre."
He added: "The real test of this scheme will be whether or not people in Island areas get the benefit of lower prices and one way to ensure that would be to introduce a scheme whereby there was a 5p maximum price differential between island and mainland fuel retailers.
"Whatever the Scottish average, prices on the islands would not go more than 5p higher per litre."