Ritchie urges Osborne to exclude fuel duty hike from budget
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has called on George Osborne to cancel the proposed hike in fuel duty in tomorrows’ Budget.
Speaking to Newry Times from the House of Commons, Ritchie stated, “Since the beginning of the year petrol has gone up in price by about 8p and diesel by 6.5p. It is imperative that a further punitive rise in duty is cancelled by the UK Chancellor.
“In Northern Ireland we already pay the highest prices in the UK and some of the highest prices in Europe for our petrol, especially diesel, and a further rise would be unacceptable.
“It is estimated that families are spending up to a quarter of their income on fuel and those facing a strain on living standards with stretched budgets should not bear the brunt of another duty hike.
“Whether it’s a young person who needs their car to travel to work or an elderly person who relies on their car to visit friends and relatives, it is essential that people do not face social and economic isolation because they cannot afford to put fuel in their car.
Ritchie added, “The high cost of petrol doesn’t just hit people; it hurts our entire economy and puts local businesses under increasing pressure. By cancelling this rise the Chancellor could support these businesses and such a move would help encourage growth at a time of economic stagnation.”
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