‘Assembly needs power to alleviate excess fuel duties’ – Bradley

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
News, Politics
SDLP Finance Spokesperson Dominic Bradley will today call for the establishment of a commission to investigate devolving further fiscal powers to the Assembly, including the ability to vary fuel duties. The Newry and Armagh MLA is speaking on an SDLP amendment to a Sinn Féin motion condemning escalating fuel prices and calling on the Executive to commence negotiations on devolving fuel duty powers to Stormont. Speaking to Newry Times ahead of the motion, Mr Bradley said, “I commend the motion for seeking to devolve powers relating to fuel duties to the Assembly, but I do not think it goes far enough. The Calman Commission was set up in Scotland in 2007 to investigate the breadth of fiscal powers which could be devolved to the Scottish Parliament and I think it is high time we had something similar here in the North. It is important that we do not treat each area of taxation in the North as a stand-alone issue, but look in the round at which fiscal powers would be of benefit to us here and which would come at a detrimental cost.” Bradley continued, “Whether it be corporation tax or fuel duty, we need to be thinking holistically about how best to improve the lot of all the people of Northern Ireland. Fuel duties happen to be uppermost in people’s minds at the moment, as the spiralling cost has put us here at the top of the European leader-board when it comes to fuel prices and it is imperative that the Assembly and Executive can work pro-actively, without London-imposed strictures, to alleviate the pressure that rocketing fuel costs are placing on householders and car-users.” “But it is equally imperative that we examine, as a cohesive whole, how devolution of multiple fiscal powers might work to the benefit of all,” the SDLP representative added. Related articles: Motorists in Newry feeling the pinch over petrol prices South Down MLA raises concerns over fuel costs

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