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Watson Hails Brussels Decision to Reduce Fuel Duty on the Isles of Scilly

September 14, 2011 2:20 PM

South West MEP Sir Graham Watson has welcomed the decision by the European Commission to allow the coalition government to go ahead with a scheme to reduce duty on the Scilly Isles by 5p a litre on petrol and diesel consumed on the islands.

This is part of a government strategy, led by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, to assist remote communities deal with the high price of fuel.

Sir Graham commented, 'I am delighted that the Commission have decided to support the coalition government's plans to help businesses and households who are struggling to meet rising fuel costs in some of the most remote parts of the UK.'

'The recession has hit rural communities hardest. With a lack of public transport available, cars are vital to residents for getting around and I am extremely pleased that the Commission recognises this. I call on the government to ensure local petrol stations are also reimbursed by the Treasury from day one to ensure they do not make a loss on the reduced petrol prices.'

Under EU law, there is a minimum rate at which VAT can be set for most goods, including fuel. As this scheme would break these rules, the UK government have had to approach Brussels for permission to apply the discount. The scheme can be rolled out once finance ministers from the 27 EU Member State governments agree to the move at their next meeting.