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Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Wales, is calling on the Tory Chancellor George Osborne to take action in the March budget to cut the cost of petrol and diesel at the pump to help hard-pressed families who are already feeling the pinch from rising prices and increased taxes.

Nia Griffith explained

“We are seeing petrol and diesel prices at record highs with diesel prices at some garages in rural Wales practically reaching £1.50 a litre. These prices are really hitting people hard, putting even more strain on household budgets which are already being squeezed by rocketing prices and the VAT rise. The Tory Chancellor George Osborne should take concerted action in the coming Budget to ease the squeeze and boost jobs and growth. A temporary cut in VAT would give immediate relief to hard-pressed motorists by taking almost 3p off the price of a litre of petrol, meaning a saving of some £1.35 on an average tankful of petrol, and it would help get our economy going too.”

“People in rural areas are particularly badly hit with greater distances, higher prices at the pump and limited public transport – and getting about is an essential part of everyday life, not a luxury. That’s why I am also very disappointed that the Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan, has made no attempt to get rural Wales included in a pilot discount scheme the UK government is introducing this month on remote Scottish islands. Drivers in those areas will benefit from a 5p a litre tax discount on fuel. It’s about time the Secretary of State realised how much fuel prices are affecting people across Wales.”