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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

UK Fuel Tax Cut Almost the Worst in Europe

Following research from the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), showing that the 5p a litre fuel tax cut in the UK is one of the lowest in Europe, the SNP has repeated its call for fuel duty regulation and more targeted support for those on the lowest incomes.

The RAC has said that the UK Government has given some of the least generous support in Europe and is “paltry.” Out of 13 European nations that have cut tax on petrol, only Luxembourg has reduced it by less than the UK.

Germany has taken the equivalent of 25p a litre in tax off per litre of petrol, Italy 21p, Portugal 16p, and both Ireland and the Netherlands cut duty by nearly 15p.

Other governments have introduced fuel discounts that take effect when motorists are paying at forecourt tills, with Spain cutting prices by about 17p a litre and France 15p.

RAC Fuel and Road Safety Spokesperson Simon Williams said:

"This analysis lays bare an uncomfortable truth for the UK government - that compared to other European countries, it's pretty much done the least to support drivers through the current period of record high fuel prices.

"UK pump prices might be finally starting to fall, but the reductions so far are too little and too late, given the massive wholesale price drops retailers have been benefiting from for nearly two months.

"Drivers, many of whom depend heavily on their vehicles, need more help and they need it now.”

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Williams said that tax accounted for about 45% of the cost of a litre of petrol, through fuel duty and VAT.

"This is why we wanted the UK Government to go further to lower the prices for drivers, because it clearly has the scope and of course it's benefitting hugely from the VAT take because the higher the wholesale price goes the more the Chancellor collects."

Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“Neither the UK Government, nor the two Tory candidates vying to be the next Prime Minister, are bringing anything to the table to support people financially through this Tory made cost of living crisis.

“Many of our EU neighbours are going further and faster to help people with pump costs and energy bills, so why won’t the Tories?

"Introducing fuel duty regulation which would lower duty as prices rise would limit inflation, help alleviate some of the cost of living pressure for millions, particularly for businesses and the distribution of goods, as well as those in rural areas.”



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