Gordon Brown must act over rising fuel costs
Commenting on Gordon Brown's attendance at the Jeddah Energy Meeting, SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said that it wasn't enough for the Prime Minister to feel people's pain – he had to act to do something about it.
Mr Hosie said:
"Gordon Brown acknowledges that people are feeling the pinch – but it's not good enough for the Prime Minister to feel people's pain, he has to introduce measures to alleviate the pain.
"By all means he should encourage supply side measures in Jeddah, which may be of some limited help. But his call for oil producers to own nuclear power stations raises all sorts of questions, and shows a complete inability to get to the grips with the problem now, and use the powers at his disposal now.
"One of the main beneficiaries of high oil prices is the Chancellor of the Exchequer – who is set to rake in an offshore North Sea tax windfall of billions of pounds, yet is doing precious little to help.
"If the Prime Minister can go to Jeddah, surely he can speak to his next door neighbour about using the Treasury's offshore windfall to bring relief to the economy and communities.
"If the Prime Minister can talk in Jeddah, he can act at home.
"The Chancellor should announce now that he is cancelling the 2p duty rise planned for October.
"He should announce now that he is establishing a fuel price regulator to reduce duty as oil prices rise, and support the amendment to the Finance Bill that the SNP have tabled to achieve this.
"And he should announce now that he will give Scotland a £500 million share of the North Sea tax windfall, so that we can begin to secure direct benefits from our own oil resources.
"The GERS figures prove that Scotland is in a far stronger financial position than the UK as a whole. And Grant Thornton accountants calculate that the current level of the Scottish subsidy to the London Treasury is £4.4 billion.
"In these circumstances, Scotland's interests cannot possibly be allowed to suffer while the Chancellor sits on the nation's oil wealth."