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Fuel rebate to be extended in rural areas of Devon and Cornwall

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 14, 2013

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A further 42 filling stations in remote areas are vying for a state-funded 5p-a-litre cut to fuel prices to pass on to motorists, with MPs in the Westcountry hoping the region will benefit.

In October, the Treasury announced that Lynton, in North Devon, would be the only town in the region to get the fuel rebate and benefit from a Government subsidy.

But ministers later announced “further work” would be carried out that could lead to more rural communities being admitted to the scheme.

MPs in Cornwall complained the Duchy had been overlooked.

Yesterday, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, confirmed the extension closed on Friday, and the department received information from a further 42 filling stations.

He said the plan is to apply to the European Commission for the dispensation in January.

Referring to the Chancellor’s freeze on fuel duty, he said: “By the end of this Parliament, motorists will be paying 20p a litre less every time they fill up their tank than they would have paid had Labour’s fuel duty escalator been allowed to go forward.”

The coalition Government’s policy to help with the higher cost of supplying fuel to hard-to-reach areas is already operating in a number of remote island communities, including the Isles of Scilly.

Lynton, on Exmoor, was listed among ten mainland towns that ministers were to submit to the EC for approval.

Last week, Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives, presented a petition to Parliament, calling for a fuel duty rebate in his constituency as “many households have no choice but to have a private car in order to maintain a living”.

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