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Wales left off list of rural areas for fuel duty cut

Wales has been left off a list of rural areas where motorists could benefit from a 5p-per-litre fuel duty cut.

The UK Government has applied to the European Commission to vary the duty rates in seven Scottish and three English towns.

It wants to extend a scheme which currently operates for the Scottish islands, and the Isles of Scilly.

The idea is to reduce prices in rural areas, where they are typically higher because of the costs of transporting fuel.

10 rural areas have been chosen in England and Scotland - but none in Wales. Credit: PA

Petrol stations in the remote areas selected would have to register with HM Revenue & Customs to claim 5p per litre relief on unleaded petrol and diesel, a saving which they then have to pass on to customers.

It could increase the number of people across the UK benefiting from the scheme to 120,000.

Four Welsh counties - Anglesey, Gwynedd, Powys and Monmouthshire - were originally considered for the scheme - but none have been included on the Government's submission.

Fuel discount for remote areas?

Prices at the pump could fall Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Motorists in remote areas of Wales could pay less for petrol and diesel under UK Government proposals to extend a fuel rebate scheme.

Petrol stations and other fuel retailers in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Powys and Monmouthshire will be asked how much they charged for petrol and diesel in the last quarter of 2012.

Ministers will then seek permission from the European Commission to extend the discount scheme to those areas - but only if the cost is similar to the islands within the current scheme.

Currently islanders off the coast of Scotland and in the Isles of Scilly get a 5p discount on petrol and diesel because the costs of transporting fuel there means prices are much higher.

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Petrol 'up 4 pence'

Latest figures from the AA show that unleaded petrol is up four pence per litre this month to 142.9, while diesel increased by 2.2p to 148.1.

This is the highest it has been since April 2011, when unleaded stood at 137.2p and diesel at 141.7p.

In the UK, the average cost of petrol has gone up to 142.48p a litre. Diesel, at 147.88p a litre on average, is just short of the record price which was set last week.

  • Unleaded petrol stands at 142.9ppl
  • Diesel stands at 148.1ppl

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Protesters challenge UK Government to cut fuel duty

According to figures from the AA, in Wales, Unleaded was 135.0p per litre and Diesel was 143.1p per litre.

A report commissioned by the lobby group FairFuel UK claims that even a modest cut in fuel duty of 2.5p per litre would create 180,000 new jobs.

Quentin Willson, national spokesman for FairFuelUK said:

'We have shared the findings of this report with MPs and Ministers. However, with only weeks to go to the Budget, we are concerned that the Government is not listening and not taking on board the significance of these findings.

"For months, the Government has been wheeling out the same old argument that it 'can't afford to cut duty'. Here is concrete evidence that it can make such a cut! Families and businesses are being crushed by these cruel levels of tax - 82p on every litre we buy.

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