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Long criticises lack of fuel duty cut in Budget

March 19, 2014 3:00 PM

Naomi Long - USE THIS PICAlliance MP Naomi Long has criticised the Chancellor after fuel duty was not cut during today's Budget.

The East Belfast MP was speaking after George Osborne's speech to Parliament, during which he revealed although a planned fuel duty rise in September would not take place, neither would the tariff be reduced.

Mrs Long, who has been a long-time campaigner for the cutting of fuel duty, said a 3p cut in fuel duty would increase GDP by 0.2 per cent, meaning a growth in the economy.

"Just last week, I joined campaigners in Downing Street who presented a petition to the Government calling for a cut in fuel duty. Given that nearly 1,000 of my own constituents signed the petition online, it is disappointing the Chancellor did not take the opportunity today to take action and make a stand on this issue.

"It is well known Northern Ireland has among the highest fuel prices in Europe, with estimates that we're paying around 1.5p above the national average. There is a clear danger the lack of a cut on fuel duty could directly lead to an increase on the price of everyday items, as retailers try to recover the increased costs of transporting goods.

"Therefore it is of vital importance that we see a cut in fuel duty in the immediate future, before the economic competitiveness of Northern Ireland is severely damaged and the budgets of ordinary people are strained even more than they already are during the current economic climate."

ENDS

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