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MP calls for rural fuel scheme for Cumbria

August 13, 2012 1:53 PM

TF at petrol stationSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the Prime Minister to include Cumbria in the plans for a forthcoming rural fuel pilot.

In the Yorkshire Post, the Prime Minister said he wanted to bring forward proposals for a fuel duty discount for people living in rural Yorkshire. The pilot will help people in remote countryside communities who are struggling with sky-high petrol prices. He said: "Work is under way for rural Yorkshire to be made another pilot for the fuel discount, and I hope we will see plans progress swiftly."

Residents in the Highlands andIslandsand the Isles of Scilly are benefiting from a 5p per litre cut in fuel prices from last March. Tim wrote to Chancellor George Osborne earlier this year, asking him to announce a similar scheme inCumbria. With the news thatYorkshireis the next area to get the discount scheme, Tim is now calling for a Cumbrian scheme to be announced at the same time.

The initial findings of a major report published recently by the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows that a fuel duty cut of 2.5p per litre would create 180,000 jobs in the first year at no net tax loss. In addition, it would boost GDP by 0.33%. An even bolder 5p cut would cost the Exchequer an estimated £1 Billion, a figure likely to be offset by increased consumer confidence and the estimated creation of another 30,000 jobs.

Tim said: In rural areas like ours, a car is not a luxury; it is a necessity of life. Fuel costs are a major issue for local families and I am pushing hard to try and make the government act. The government have made some welcome moves on this issue, I urged the Chancellor to axe the previous government's planned rises last year - something which he did.

"However, there is still more they need to do to help hard-pressed businesses and families in Cumbria. I want to see the rural fuel derogation pilot, which is currently being successfully trialled in the Highlands, brought to Cumbria. This would slash 5p off the cost of petrol at forecourts throughout Cumbria.

"We also need to look at the cost of fuel to help haulage and businesses. Any extra cost at this time is something they cannot afford."