Buckley leads Committee call for cut in vehicle fuel duty

Chair of the Infrastructure Committee Jonathan Buckley has written to the Treasury calling for a deferment of changes to rebated fuel and a cut in vehicle fuel duty.

By Jonathan Buckley Candidate

Upper Bann

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The Committee unanimously backed the call to assist businesses, particularly in the logistics, transport and construction sectors.

The DUP MLA said, "The scale and pace of fuel price increases over recent days and weeks could cripple many businesses in Northern Ireland and across the United Kingdom. Whilst tackling climate change remains a key priority, in the current circumstances there is a need for specific action on fuel prices.

The Government did perform a partial u-turn on rebated 'red diesel' for agricultural use, the logistics and construction sectors are both heavily reliant upon it for off-road machinery and equipment. There needs to be further action in this area to assist business who are already struggling in Northern Ireland given that even before these fuel price increases there had already been a 27% rise in the cost of bringing goods to Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Irish Government has reduced road fuel duty and this will inevitably see many local drivers cross the border, posing huge difficulties for retailers here, particularly in border areas. More broadly however, the cost of living crisis engulfing families across the UK demands that action is taken.

This letter represents a cross-party unanimous call on behalf of the Infrastructure Committee and I would hope that Treasury will listen to these calls as well as the other representations coming from right across the UK. It is vital that action is taken quickly."

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