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Farron urges Chancellor to review fuel duty for volunteers

February 15, 2011 5:07 PM

TF at petrol stationWestmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to consider a complete overhaul of mileage allowances for volunteers who donate their time, vehicle and free service to sustain our public services; Tim is concerned that increases in petrol costs are pricing volunteers off the roads and out of service.

Tim has written to the Chancellor after constituents contacted him to raise the issue of rapidly rising costs of the volunteers' contributions to transport for local public services, including St. Mary's Hospice. Many of these volunteers provide a vital service, offering their transport either for local patients or for such necessities as transporting blood units to be used in transfusions across Cumbria.

Commenting this afternoon, Tim said; "It's deeply worrying that fuel costs are having a negative impact upon a great number of volunteers who compensate for the insufficient public transport in rural communities such as South Lakeland, particularly after A&E services have been moved to Lancaster from Kendal."

"I have been pressing Treasury Ministers for some time now to undertake the long overdue review of mileage allowance. Therefore, I am now urging George Osbourne to implement a complete overhaul of the current system of funding for volunteer car drivers, to protect this vital service before it becomes too much for these selfless volunteers."