3p rise in fuel duty "breaking point" - McCann
Sinn Féin MLA and member of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee, Jennifer McCann, has stated that the proposed 3 pence extra tax on a litre of fuel will remain will be the breaking point for many business and families who rely on cars, and hit rural communities the hardest.
Speaking today following the budget announcement by the British Chancellor of the exchequer Ms McCann said:
“The announcement today by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, that fuel duty will still rise by 3pence in August is unbelievable. It will stave off any economic recovery and place extra pressure on already stretched budgets.
“The north of Ireland currently has the most expensive fuel on these islands and indeed in Europe. There are a number of forecourts that are now charging £1.49.9 for a litre of diesel. With an extra three pence breaking the £1.50 mark a huge amount of pressure will be placed on businesses and consumers alike.
"Any further rise is bound to have a significant knock on effect. For example if the transport of goods increases then consumer will inevitably have to pick up the extra cost as prices of food and services increase. If this is not the case then the business comes under significant pressures.
“The effects will be felt even harder in rural communities where public transport infrastructure is not sufficient and people rely on their cars.
“The proposed rise will place even more strain on those who are finding it hard to make ends meet. 58.5 pence out of every pound on petrol and 56.5 pence on diesel is the current tax take from the British Government. This is unsustainable.
“Beyond the huge tax take, which the British government must get real about, we need to establish a task force to ascertain the reasons why we are paying the highest costs in Europe for our fuel and produce firm recommendations to tackle the causes head on.
"The reasons being trotted out time and again are not good enough given that in the same month in March 2009, only three years ago, we were paying just under £1 per litre. What then really accounts for a 50p rise?"