Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and Orkney MSP Liam McArthur have lodged a motion in Parliament highlighting the significant discrepancy between isles fuel prices and mainland Scotland. Islanders have long criticised the disproportionate price increase they face when filling up.
The full text of the motion reads:
That the Parliament notes what it sees as the substantial discrepancy between fuel prices in Orkney and Shetland compared with mainland Scotland; understands that, in Orkney, petrol can cost up to £1.50 per litre and that, in Shetland, diesel can cost up to £1.44, compared with some mainland prices of £1.17 for petrol and £1.19 for diesel; believes that recent decreases in the price of crude oil have not been reflected at the pumps; considers that islanders and island businesses are particularly affected by high fuel costs as residents often rely on personal transport to ensure their economic and social inclusion; believes that these costs create an additional financial burden that adds to the already increased cost of living in remote and rural communities; acknowledges the 2012 UK Government scheme to cut fuel duty in rural areas by 5p, and believes that further sustained action is required to reduce the cost of filling up in the isles.
Commenting, Liam and Tavish said:
“Residents and businesses in Orkney and Shetland are rightly frustrated that inflated fuel prices continue to hit them in their pockets. In rural communities, cars, vans and lorries are rarely a luxury. They are an essential part of getting to work or school, and keeping businesses running.
“The argument that higher fuel prices come from increased transport costs is not enough to explain the current difference in price. At a time when we are seeing crude oil prices tumbling, we are just not seeing that reflected at the pumps.
“We hope that MSPs from across the parties will support this motion highlighting the growing disparity in fuel prices and help us put pressure on the Scottish and UK Governments to commit to serious action to reduce fuel costs in the isles.”
Notes to editors: you can find the motion here.