Scottish MPs who voted against action to bring down fuel prices, or abstained, should be named and shamed the SNP said today (Tuesday) as the party confirmed that it will make soaring fuel prices a key campaign for the Holyrood elections.

SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie condemned Scottish Lib Dem MPs for voting against fuel price action, and blasted the 38 Scottish Labour MPs who abstained in the vote for failing Scotland.

An initial run of 75,000 leaflets bearing the slogan “Pumping up prices. Yet another Lib Dem sting” are already being distributed in
LibDem held constituencies.

The SNP and Plaid Cymru dedicated their annual Opposition Day debate to demand the Conservative-led government fulfil its pre-election pledge to establish a fuel duty regulator. The debate was the only opportunity for MPs to discuss fuel prices ahead of the Budget in March and the planned fuel duty increase in April.

Commenting, Mr Hosie said:

“Scottish MPs who voted against fair fuel prices, or did nothing and abstained, should be named and shamed for letting their communities down.

“When the country is crying out for action, Lib Dem MPs voted with the Tories against bringing fuel costs down, while 38 Scottish Labour MPs could not be bothered to even turn up. It is a total disgrace, and that is why fuel prices will be such a key campaigning issue for the Holyrood elections.

“Westminster’s failure is a key illustration of why we need to build up Scotland’s Parliament, and equip it with the full powers of
financial responsibility.

“It is simply unacceptable that in energy-rich Scotland, motorists and businesses are facing pump prices that have reached over #1.40 a litre in some areas.

“Coupled with the UK Government’s recent VAT rise, these record fuel costs are putting a huge and unnecessary amount of pressure on our communities and on vital sectors of the Scottish economy, and risk choking the recovery that the SNP Government is building in Scotland.

“With a further rise in duty scheduled for April, Westminster must take urgent action to tackle this. The Chancellor will collect around #12 billion in tax on North Sea oil revenues this year – around #2 billion more than expected if oil prices remain at their elevated levels – so he has the resource to bring the relief motorists and local economies desperately need.

“Introducing a fuel duty regulator would support the recovery, increase consumer demand and strengthen growth in our economy. We also believe a discount on fuel duty should be levied in Scotland’s rural and island communities – two areas hardest hit by rising fuel prices – and we will continue to push the UK Government hard for these vital interventions.”