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CLA wants share of fuel price cuts
4:53pm Friday 16th March 2012 in Farming news
THE CLA is calling for a reduction in fuel prices in rural areas of Northern England as a new fuel derogation pilot gets under way in parts of the country.
Residents and businesses in the Highlands and Islands and the Isles of Scilly have been benefiting from a 5p per litre cut in fuel prices since the beginning of March.
Now, in the run-up to the Budget next Wednesday, the CLA in the North wants local rural businesses and communities to benefit from an extension of the scheme.
Douglas Chalmers, the CLA North policy and public affairs director, said: “Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has already written to the Chancellor asking him to announce a similar scheme in Cumbria, but there are large remote areas across the entire North that would benefit from this.
“In the run-up to the Budget, there is much discussion on how we can stimulate our economy. Rural-based businesses are significantly disadvantaged by being further from road and rail networks and often with poorer broadband availability.
“Raw materials in, and products out, have further to travel, and most people are dependent on private transport. A 5p cut would go a long way to improving their competitiveness.”
FairFuelUK has published a report conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business Research which suggests that a 2.5p cut in fuel duty, rather than costing the Treasury, would stimulate the economy and create up to 175,000 jobs. In addition, it would boost GDP by 0.33 percent.
Mr Chalmers added: “We mustn’t forget that a reduction in fuel duty would also have a direct effect on everyone who lives in rural communities. At a time when families really are counting their pennies, living in an area where services and jobs are further away, and there is little public transport, this one change would make a tremendous difference to families as well as businesses.”