Reports that Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer is planning to scrap the lower rate of fuel duty on red diesel in next week’s Budget would mean another financial blow to crofters, fishermen and industries says Isles MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil.

It is suggested that the Chancellor is planning to end the 11.1p/litre duty rate and charge users the full 57.7p/litre fuel tax in his Budget to be outlined on Wednesday March 11.

Angus MacNeil MP said:“I am writing to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak and the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack to underline the huge importance of this potential decision.

“Scrapping the lower rate of fuel duty will devastate marine and agricultural economies.  It will effectively double fuel prices for fishing boats, lobster boats, prawn boats and will leave processing jobs in a precarious situation.  As for crofting and farming, these are industries that cannot absorb such increases and this type of economic shock will put many out of business. 

“There are many other users of red diesel who will be utterly gobsmacked if the Chancellor brings in this change.  I can only hope that this is alarmist talk because with everything else that is happening this year with the economic environment, a price increase of this magnitude cannot be absorbed and should not even be considered by the Westminster Government.”