Dismay as communities in Wales left out of fuel duty cut bid list

One Welsh MP says he will be lobbying the UK treasury to try and persuade them to change their minds

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An application for a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty in rural areas will not include anywhere in Wales.

Only three towns in England and seven in Scotland passed the criteria for inclusion in the bid to the European Commission (EU).

The cut already applies to Scottish islands and the Isles of Scilly.

Ceredigion's Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams said he was disappointed but the price guide set by the EU was "very high".

"I am very disappointed to see that Ceredigion, nor anywhere in Wales, has been included in the list of places in the UK which the Treasury will put forward to the EU for a fuel rebate," he said.

"Having collected data from all of Ceredigion's petrol stations and submitted the evidence to the Treasury, the price guide set by the EU was very high, with some petrol stations in Ceredigion only reaching it on one or two days over the time frame set and others not reaching it at all.

"Whilst this is disappointing, the Treasury needs the supporting data in order to make the case to the EU.

"I remain convinced the prices we pay are disproportionately high and we must continue to make the case to the Treasury and the EU for the extension of this scheme."

Remote islands

Seven of the towns for which the application is being made are in Scotland.

They are Acharacle, Achnasheen, Appin, Carrbridge, Dalwhinnie, Gairloch and Strathpeffer.

In England, Kirkby-in-Furness in Cumbria, Hawes in North Yorkshire and Lynton in Devon are included.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said that, as a Highlander, he knew "all too well that fuel prices tend to be highest in areas where a car is needed the most".

"We've already delivered a tax cut for remote islands and now want to extend that to mainland rural areas that suffer from similarly high prices to the islands," he added.

"We have put together the strongest possible evidence base to try and maximise the places that get it."

A decision from the EC is expected next year.

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