Rural areas demand cut in fuel prices

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THE high cost of fuel remains the number one concern of people in the countryside, a new study shows amid calls for the Chancellor to freeze fuel duty in next week’s Autumn Statement.

A survey carried out by rural insurance broker NFU Mutual found that postponing the planned rise in petrol prices would be the most popular move George Osborne could make when he addresses MPs next Wednesday.

Fuel prices are typically higher in the countryside than in urban areas, while people living there are largely dependant on their cars to get around.

The Yorkshire Post is campaigning for a rural fuel discount scheme being piloted in Scotland to be extended to rural parts of Yorkshire, as part of its Give us a Fair Deal campaign.

The latest survey found rural people put cutting the price of petrol ahead of cuts to VAT and income tax on their Autumn Statement “wish-list”.

Sean McCann, personal finance specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “These findings show the level of concern in the countryside about high fuel prices which continue to place pressure on household budgets.

“Most country people need a car to get to work or the shops, but for those on low or fixed incomes, rising prices at the pump and few public transport alternatives has become a costly combination.

“The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is an ideal opportunity for the Government to show that it is listening.”