Tuesday, 03 July 2018 17:27

FUEL DUTY HIKE WOULD HIT SCOTLAND HARDEST

FUND THE NHS THROUGH FAIRER TAXES, NOT PICKING CONSUMER’S POCKETS
 
The Tory government is set to hit consumers at the petrol pump in a desperate attempt to generate overpromised Brexit billions for the NHS – a move that would hit Scottish consumers and businesses disproportionately.
 

The SNP has consistently stood against regressive fuel duty rises, securing concessions from the UK government to maintain a rate freeze in recent budgets.
 
Fuel duty impacts more upon the least well off, with consumers in Scotland bearing the brunt – particularly those living and doing business in rural Scotland who depend on road travel. 
 
Furthermore, Scotland generates the majority of the UK’s fuel through our oil and gas sector, with taxes already levied on Scottish-based business earlier in the supply chain and the resulting revenues siphoned off by the Treasury.
 
Meanwhile the SNP Scottish Government has made modest, progressive changes to income tax to ensure that more funding is available for Scotland’s NHS – with those who can afford it contributing a little extra based upon their income.
 
Commenting, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, Gail Ross said:
 
“The SNP has led the way in creating a fairer tax system where those who can afford to pay that little bit more to invest in our NHS and public services.
 
“But slapping charges on consumers at the petrol pump is about the least fair way of going about it. It would be a fundamentally regressive move – hitting the least well off far harder than the rich.
 
“In my Highland constituency, where travel by road across hundreds of miles is an absolute necessity for those living and working here, such a move would be grossly unfair and disproportionate.
 
“Businesses would lose out and jobs and it could put livelihoods on the line. Rural Scotland shouldn’t be left, once again, to pay the highest price for uncosted Tory promises.
 
“And, let’s remember, many Scottish businesses have already paid tax their way to get the oil out of the North Sea in the first place – with all those revenues siphoned off by the Treasury, without Scotland seeing a penny.
 
“It’s yet another stark reminder of why Scotland should have the powers to raise all of our own taxes and control our public spending through independence – not just being subject to the effects of the latest Tory ruse to raise a quick buck.”
 
Notes to editors: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/02/freeze-on-fuel-duty-may-be-lifted-to-help-meet-nhs-promises

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