UK Government Abandons Wales to soaring Fuel Prices

Plaid Cymru has criticised the Westminster Government for letting down the people of Wales and for failing to grasp the severity of the fuel crisis facing the UK.

Plaid Cymru and the SNP led a debate this week in the Commons to tackle rising fuel prices. The parties called on the Conservative-led Government to fulfil their pre-election pledge to establish a fuel duty regulator.

Despite widespread support from leading industry bodies and motorist groups, the motion was defeated and voted down by a majority of MPs by 303 to 14. LibDem and Tory MPs voted against calls to help – while Labour MPs abstained.
Voting figures showed that from Wales, 11 MPs from the Tories and LibDems voted against the motion – while 25 Labour MPs abstained completely

Local Member of Parliament and Plaid’s treasury and transport spokesperson Jonathan Edwards said:

“The UK Government’s position is extremely exposed. We desperately need action to tackle soaring fuel prices – but the Conservatives have shown they are happy to ditch a manifesto pledge by dropping their commitment to a fuel stabiliser.

“It is now three years since the Conservatives announced their conversion to a policy which Plaid Cymru have been promoting since 2005.

“But on each and every occasion when they could show their support for a fuel duty regulator they have failed to vote for it. What does this say about their enthusiasm for their own policies?

“Instead, we are being fobbed off with a consultation and the promise of an announcement later.

“There seems to be an evolving trend too where the UK Govenment is placing responsibility on the devolved Governments without transferring powers – knowing full well that Wales is already badly underfunded.

“This is instead of taking real action about a problem which affects millions of people across the UK – soaring fuel prices because of increases in fuel duty and VAT slapped on by Westminster.

“The UK Government must make an announcement now about the April Fuel Duty rise, not wait until a week before, and must put a fuel duty regulator in place rather than continue to dither as they have done.

“There is a huge amount of support backing the call for a Fuel Duty Regulator right now with support coming from a number of industry groups such as the Road Haulage Association, the Federation of Small Businesses and farming unions such as the NFU and the FUW.

Constituency Colleague, Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas added:

“Real people and businesses across Wales, especially in rural parts like Carmarthenshire, are struggling with tightened finances – and they have every right to feel betrayed.

“Families, small businesses, farmers, motorists – even public transport operators in Wales especially are struggling because of the increases in fuel duty and VAT.

“The Labour party had an opportunity to join Plaid and the SNP to show their support for the ordinary working people of Carmarthenshire, but neighbouring MPs Nia Griffiths and Peter Hain abstained from the vote.

“25 out of the 26 Labour MPs in Wales did not vote. The figures speak for themselves. One has to seriously question whose side the Labour party is on”.

ENDS / DIWEDD

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