Ritchie votes against planned increase in fuel duty
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has voted against government plans to increase fuel duty by 3p a litre during a vote in the House of Commons this evening.
Speaking to Newry Times following the vote Ms Ritchie said:
“The proposed increase in fuel tax by 3p a litre is deeply concerning and must be scrapped. I have spoken consistently about the need to avoid any increase in fuel at a time when fuel prices in the North of Ireland continue to be the highest in Europe.
“People are already feeling the squeeze with extortionate fuel prices putting a strain on household budgets and reducing young people’s economic opportunities. The coalition government must wake up to this economic reality and protect motorists at a strained and difficult time.
“High fuel prices hit local businesses who are struggling following the global downturn. In rural areas such as my own constituency consumers rely on their vehicles to attend work and fear the proposed hike in fuel prices.
Ritchie added, “Any further increase in fuel prices has the potential to restrict business growth and puts pressure on workers who rely on their vehicle to get to work. The government must recognise the severe implications increasing fuel duty will have on people’s lifestyles.
“My SDLP colleagues and I were very happy to support local communities and the Fair Fuel UK Campaign in their pursuit to lower fuel duty and that is why we have voted to resist this unfair increase today.”
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