Scheme That Will Extend Fuel Subsidy To More Rural Areas.

Thursday, 16. April 2015

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Most of us are enjoying the lowest fuel prices for years. But there are a few people living way out in the sticks that are not only having to pay much higher prices for their petrol and diesel but they have to spend money driving for miles to get to the fuel stations.

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The Government introduced their Rural Fuel Rebate Scheme in 2012 which meant that petrol stations in selected areas could claim up to 5 pence per litre from the Government as a reduction of the fuel duty payable, which in turn enabled them to sell their fuel at a more competitive rate than previous.

In order to be able to do this the Government had to have the scheme approved by the European Commission who would only approve the scheme if applied to islands off the mainland, these included the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, islands on the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly.

The Government now want to extend the scheme to the rural areas of mainland England and Scotland. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has said that he is hopeful that the extended scheme will be introduced before the general election in May. The European Commission has already approved the extension of the scheme onto the mainland but the proposal must also be approved by member states through the Council of the European Union.

The extended scheme, if approved, will be selected by postcode taking into account current pump prices, cost of transporting the fuel, areas have to be more than 100 miles from the nearest refinery and population density, this must be no higher than any currently in the scheme. As a result the following will fall within the extended scheme, parts of the Scottish Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Northumberland, Cumbria, Devon and Hawes in North Yorkshire. Fuel retailers within scheme areas must apply to HM Revenue and Customs in order to claim back the duty.

If you find a retailer charging high prices in your rural area you should make sure that they are receiving the rebate and that they are passing it all on. Pop in and have a chat. By Graham Hill

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