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Monday 16th April 2012 | 11:32
Plaid Cymru have hit out at the Government's failure to address the growing problem of soaring fuel prices in its recent Budget, claiming that families and businesses, particularly in rural areas, are suffering unnecessarily.
Elfyn Llwyd MP has repeated his party's call for a fair fuel regulator which would cut fuel duty when prices spike unexpectedly, freezing the price at the pump.
The call comes ahead of this week's Finance Bill which includes no provision for tackling the cost of fuel, one of the main drivers of rising inflation. As the Bill faces its second reading today, Plaid Cymru and the SNP have table a motion of opposition on the basis that the Finance Bill fails to address a crucial issue which is damaging economic growth.
Mr Llwyd said:
"The issue of fuel prices really is the elephant in the room as far as the Budget is concerned.
"Fuel prices are one of the main sources of rising inflation yet the Chancellor has failed to tackle this problem, instead choosing to introduce tax-cuts for the rich and slash payments for the elderly.
"The Coalition has yet again shown itself to be completely out of touch with ordinary people and failed to act on an issue which affects the vast majority of the UK population.
"Rising fuel prices are a great problem for families and businesses in my constituency.
"It seems that they keep going up, whatever the government claims they have done - and so does the fuel duty that they collect.
"Motorists in rural areas spend significantly more on fuel than those in urban areas. Figures from the Office for national Statistics also show that poorer families spend more of their income on petrol than richer families, so there is an earning effect as well through soaring fuel prices.
"After 7 years of Plaid pushing for a genuine fuel duty stabiliser, it is hugely disappointing to see that neither the Labour nor Conservative governments in London have agreed to this common sense idea.
"Looking at the long term, I would also urge the Government to urgently address the lack of investment in renewable energy that we are seeing at present.
"We have to be moving away from our reliance on fossil fuels and moving towards a greener economy.
"Sadly, the Coalition's betrayal of its promise to be "the greenest Government ever" is making this extremely difficult.
"Plaid has consistently maintained that the future of energy generation lies with renewables and we will continue to campaign hard on this issue, regardless of the London parties' inaction."