With the price of fuel in rural areas often more expensive than urban areas of the country, there has been a long running campaign by rural fuel customers to bring the price of fuel more in line with their rural counterparts. A recent decision by the European Commission has given hope that this will soon be a fixture for all rural areas in the UK.
17 of the UK’s most rural communities are a step closer to getting up to a 5p per litre fuel price cut after the government’s rural fuel rebate scheme cleared the major hurdle of European Commission (EC) approval (15 January 2015), Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced.
The Chief Secretary spearheaded the government’s application to the EC for 17 of the most rural areas in mainland UK to receive an up to 5 pence per litre (ppl) fuel duty discount last year.
The scheme will allow 125,000 people living the selected areas, who currently face some of the highest fuel prices in the country despite depending on cars for transport, to benefit from cheaper fuel.
The UK’s most rural islands already receive this discount, but it will be the first time ever that the Commission has approved a fuel discount in on the mainland in the UK.
Commission approval means that the issue is now awaiting agreement from other member states through the Council of the European Union.
The current rural fuel rebate scheme came into effect in March 2012 and allows retailers of road fuel within the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, the Islands of the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to claim back a five pence per litre relief on unleaded petrol and diesel for retail sale within the eligible areas.
Retailers of road fuel within these geographical areas will be eligible to register with HMRC and to claim back up to 5 pence per litre duty relief on purchases of unleaded petrol and diesel for retail sale within the eligible areas. They will be entitled to claim the relief from HMRC on a monthly basis.