EC approval for Rural Fuel Duty relief
The European Commission (EC) has approved an extension of the Rural Fuel Duty relief scheme that has cut fuel duty in remote island communities by 5p per litre. The scheme currently applies to the sale of unleaded petrol, diesel, biodiesel, bioblend and bioethanol blend in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, the islands in the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly.
The Government wants to extend this to 17 of the most rural areas in mainland UK. Most of these rural areas are in Scotland but there are also areas covered in Northumberland, Cumbria and Devon. Commission approval means that the issue is now awaiting final agreement from other member states through the Council of the European Union. If all the areas receive final approval around 125,000 people will benefit from the scheme across the UK.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said:
‘While we have one more stage to go, I want to make sure we are ready to implement this as a top priority so we will press for this to be heard as soon as possible and are today publishing the necessary draft regulations. I’m determined to implement the rural fuel rebate in the current Parliament as part of this government’s drive for a stronger economy and fairer society.’