Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has called on fuel duty to be decided by the Scottish Parliament.
During a debate in the Scottish Parliament Mr Gibson said that the fuel issue is prime example of the limitations of Scottish devolution. He went onto say that only Holyrood control over taxation for fuel duty would allow fair fuel prices in rural and remote areas.
During the debate he rounded on the Liberal Democrats for saying one thing but doing another. He pointed the bulk of the Highland Lib Dem 'team' , Lord John Thurso (MP Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross), Alistair Carmichael (MP For Orkney and Shetland), Danny Alexander (MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey) and Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye and Inverness West) were absent from a vote which would have stopped rises in fuel duty this week.
The latest budget will see a 2 pence per litre rise in fuel duty, then 1p a liter above inflation each April for the next four years
Speaking after the debate he said…..
"The Lib Dems are fond of saying one thing but doing another. This is the case for fuel duty so it was highly irritating to hear the pious words of Lib Dems during the fuel debate in Holyrood whilst it is clear that the bulk of their Highland and Islands MP's do not have the guts to vote against rises in fuel prices which will come this year."
"With unerring regularity the Lib Dems launch a campaign or petition against high fuel prices however when there is a chance to vote against increases in prices then they are posted missing. Despite this they manage to vote on the following issue of alcohol rises fact they manage to vote on an issue straight after. They are betraying those that they represent. They should have the guts to stand against their UK party leadership and support the people who they claim represent and vote against rises in fuel duty. Lib Dem Argyll MP Alan Reid had the guts to vote against his party's wishes and fuel rises, Lord John Thurso and Messers Carmichael, Alexander and Kennedy did not."
"What is clear form the debate is that fuel duty should be decided in the Scottish Parliament. In countries like Ireland you find prices at a lower level than Scotland. There is near parity throughout the country that is something that could be achieved if only we had the power to do so."