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Transfer fuel duty powers now to benefit local people - McKay

24 April, 2012

 Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay who is also the vice chair of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment committee at Stormont will today raise a motion at the Assembly calling for the transfer of powers to set a local fuel duty levels.

This follows a week where petrol prices at the pumps reached an all time high. Motorists in the north of Ireland pay the highest price in Europe for their fuel.

Mr McKay said

“One of the reasons that Sinn Féin are putting forward this motion is because it is quite clear that the British Government do not set their policy in the best interests of people living in the north. They are overseeing a fuel duty policy that has resulted in local people paying some of the highest prices for petrol and diesel in Europe and their policy affects us much worse than consumers in Britain.

“The Executive needs to take action to secure the transfer of these powers to ensure that a policy which is set that is tailored locally and have politicians oversee it that are responsive and acutely aware of the needs of local people.

“Sinn Féin supports the transfer of all fiscal powers from the British Tory government to locally accountable politicians and I think there is an onus on us to act as swiftly as possible as this is having a detrimental impact on business overheads, the price of goods and jobs.

“The British Government is planning to put another 3pence onto the price of fuel later this year. Members of the public expect us to act in their best interests and it is not in their best interests to allow the significant level of excise duty that is applied here to continue. The south which is going through greater economic difficulty at the moment can have an excise duty that is some 16 pence less than ours so there is no reason why we couldn’t negotiate the transfer of these powers and seek a reduction in duty.”

Rún/Motion: Devolution of Fuel Duty Powers

Molta/Proposed: That this Assembly condemns the forthcoming three pence rise in the cost of fuel; notes that our people pay some of the highest fuel costs in Europe; and calls on the Executive to start negotiations with the British Government regarding the devolution of powers on fuel duty.

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