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Excise Duties: Fuels

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the effects of the recent road fuel duty increase on (a) filling stations in and (b) the economy of remote rural areas; (291662)

(2) what information his Department holds for benchmarking purposes on the cost and impact of schemes operated by other EU member states which use a derogation to apply a lower rate of fuel duty to remote areas and islands; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what recent assessment his Department has made of the effects of variation in fuel prices in other EU member states on road fuel sales in the UK and associated revenue; and if he will make a statement.

When making decisions on fuel duty, the Chancellor takes into account all relevant economic, social and environmental factors. This includes the impact on rural areas. The increase in road fuel duty which took place on 1 September will help to support the public finances in the medium-term.

It is a key principle of the tax system that the same rate of excise duty will apply throughout the UK. The Government have therefore decided not to impose a reduced rate of fuel duty in remote areas. The Government are aware of derogations in other EU member states, but does not hold information on the cost of such schemes.

Data on fuel prices throughout the EU are available at:

The Government have not made an assessment of the impact of fuel prices in other countries on UK prices, but all countries will be similarly affected by movements in the international oil market.