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Politics / MSPs call for better value at the pumps

The price of fuel in Lerwick on 3 December 2018. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

SHETLAND and Orkney’s MSPs have joined forces to call for more action on tackling the “substantial discrepancy” between fuel prices in the Northern Isles and the Scottish Mainland.

Liberal Democrats Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur have lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament to highlight what they say are increasing fuel prices when the cost of crude oil is decreasing.

The MSPs’ motion says that in Shetland diesel can cost up to £1.44 per litre, with some mainland prices sitting at around £1.19.

They also say people are paying up to £1.50 for a litre of petrol in Orkney.

Their motion acknowledges that the UK Government introduced a 5p cut for fuel prices in rural areas like the Northern Isles in 2012 – but Scott and McArthur said more needs to be done.

“Residents and businesses in Orkney and Shetland are rightly frustrated that inflated fuel prices continue to hit them in their pockets,” the two MSPs said.

“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.”