Rural area discount on petrol prices

Rural Petrol Station

Rural Petrol Station

Should Drivers living in remote rural areas receive a discount on the price they pay for their fuel to help them with their spiralling driving costs?

The average price of petrol these days is nearly £6 per gallon which works out as £1.32 per litre of unleaded, with the view that is will continue to rise! However some petrol stations, notably those in the Northern Isles are already charging £1.40 a litre and Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said these remote areas would soon be able to enjoy discount on the duty they pay for petrol.

The Government began talks with the European Commission last year to introduce a pilot scheme to give a discount on fuel duty of up to 5p per litre on petrol and diesel in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, and the Isles of Scilly. It can be introduced if the Government can persuade the Commission that it would not break competition laws.

There is a precedent, however because the French island of Corsica and Portuguese and Greek islands already enjoy fuel-tax discounts, approved by Brussels. Mr Alexander, whose constituency of Inverness is in the Highlands, suggested this discount along with a fuel stabiliser was far more likely than a cancellation of the planned increase in fuel duty, due to take in effect in April, which many campaigners are lobbying for.

However the Lim Dem cabinet minister, Chris Huhnes, argues that Britain needs to be weaned off its reliance on fossil fuels. He claims that is no easy answer to cutting fuel duty. For example if we look at the US, where the fuel duty is half the price, with Petrol and Diesel prices less than half the price they are in the UK! This results in people becoming more reliant on oil to fuel the economy, which leads to disastrous consequences, when the world oil price changes, such as bankruptcies and house repossessions.

Though Mr Alexander said a fuel duty stabiliser, designed to drop the level of duty when the price of fuel increases, involved complications, he reiterated that the Government was looking at plans about how best to introduce the idea.

And increasing number of companies and public bodies over the weekend said they were suffering from high price of petrol. The transport manager of Northamptonshire’s Police Federation said that his force was trying to cut down on policemen using patrol cars, in order to save on petrol costs.

What are your thoughts, should Rural Petrol Stations be allowed to sell discounted fuel?

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