‘Fuel rebate scheme must be extended to rural areas’ – Ritchie

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Friday, September 27th, 2013
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has called for the British Chancellor to bring forward plans to extend the fuel rebate scheme to rural areas such as South Down. Ritchie told Newry Times, “I am pleased that the Treasury has accepted from the first batch of evidence that there is a case for extending the existing fuel rebate scheme for islands to more remote inland areas such as Newry and Mourne. “This process needs to happen quickly as local people and businesses continue to be put under severe financial pressure by high fuel prices. “If they have not already done so I would encourage local fuel retailers who have been contacted by the Treasury to provide their submission as soon as possible to speed this process up by proving that these areas are similar to the islands in terms of pump prices and distribution costs. “It will then be up to the British government to make the necessary representations to the European Commission and then to instate this policy with immediate effect. People in rural areas suffer a vastly disproportionate cost for fuel and they are often the people who rely on their vehicles the most. Ritchie added, “A fuel rebate would be an enormous boost for the rural economy and those that live in harder to reach areas.”
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