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Rural fuel price cut begins

People living across seventeen of the UK’s most rural communities will be able to benefit from a 5 pence per litre fuel price cut as of yesterday.

The government’s rural fuel rebate scheme will allow 125,000 people living in the selected areas, who currently face some of the highest fuel prices in the country despite depending on cars for transport, to benefit from cheaper fuel.

This follows a year-long EU approvals process: while the UK’s most rural islands already receive this discount, this is the first time ever that the EU has approved this fuel discount anywhere in mainland Europe.

Damian Hinds, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said yesterday:

People living in some of the UK’s most rural areas will now benefit from a 5p per litre fuel discount thanks to the Rural Fuel Rebate, which effectively comes into force today.

Fuel is often more expensive in very rural areas, even though cars are more of a necessity. However, people in seventeen areas ranging from the Highlands to Devon will now be able to buy cheaper fuel, making travelling to work and school far easier.

The seventeen areas which will benefit from the price cut are:

  • IV54 (Highland – Scotland)
  • IV26 (Highland – Scotland)
  • IV27 (Highland – Scotland)
  • NE48 (Northumberland – England)
  • PH41 (Highland – Scotland)
  • KW12 (Highland – Scotland)
  • PA80 (Argyll and Bute – Scotland)
  • PH36 (Highland – Scotland)
  • IV22 (Highland – Scotland)
  • PA38 (Argyll and Bute – Scotland)
  • PH23 (Highland – Scotland)
  • PH19 (Highland – Scotland)
  • IV21 (Highland – Scotland)
  • LA17 (Cumbria – England)
  • EX35 (Devon – England)
  • IV14 (Highland – Scotland)
  • Hawes (North Yorkshire – England)

These areas have been selected using the following criteria:

  • Pump price threshold: pump prices have to be more expensive than the lowest pump price on the islands in the existing scheme, during the months examined
  • Cost of transporting fuel: areas have to be over 100 miles by road from the nearest refinery
  • Population density: the population density must be no higher than any area in the current scheme

Retailers in selected areas could register from 1 April, and the scheme yesterday began to effect consumers following a 60-day time lag.

Areas that did not adequately fulfil these criteria were not included in the application, as the government considered them to be unlikely to receive approval from the EU.

Retailers of road fuel within these geographical areas are eligible to register with HMRC and to claim back 5 pence per litre duty relief on purchases of unleaded petrol and diesel for retail sale within the eligible areas. They are entitled to claim the relief from HMRC on a monthly basis.


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