Northumberland’s missed out again as Lib Dem’s opt to cut 5p from fuel duty in Scotland in controversial scheme
Labour protest as coalition accused of abandoning Berwick and Hexham
A scheme set to be controversially introduced by the Con Dem government has fallen foul of Labour politicians across Northumberland as it emerged that ‘marginal Liberal Democrat seats in Scotland’ has been disproportionately favoured by a planned cut in fuel duty by 5p. The measure is targeted to help ‘rural communities who spend more per head on fuel costs but Labour in Northumberland have raised concerns why the county has been ignored.
Northumberland is ‘predominantly rural’ in which over 79% of its area has been classified by the government as rural. It also suffers from lower spending per head than urban areas which, on average, receive over £70 more per head under the government grant formula. Northumberland also suffers from lower average earnings and Labour are pointing to these factors which show why the county should have been included in 5p cut in fuel pilot.
Labour councillor Scott Dickinson who represents rural ward Druridge Bay said
‘Danny Alexander’s 5p fuel duty cut for 10 rural areas is a slap in the face of rural households and businesses in our county as we’ve again been snubbed. Only a month ago, Tory Hexham MP Guy Opperman was calling on David Cameron to cut fuel duty for rural areas in Northumberland but now we’ve found out that Lib Dem minister Danny Alexander has picked 7 constituencies in Scotland from a list of 10. Clearly, Sir Alan Beith and Guy Opperman have been ignored and you’ve got to wonder why Cameron and Clegg’s Con Dem government continue to ignore the needs of our county’.