Petrol set to rise by 6p per litre

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An amendment lodged by the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel, calling for the impôt duty on fuel to rise by 4p instead of 6p, was rejected by 32 votes to 14.

Had the amendment been adopted, the amount of money channelled from the increased duty to the Climate Emergency Fund would have been reduced from 4p to 2p per litre, resulting in £1 million less being allocated.

Panel chairman Constable Mike Jackson said that the amendment was driven by the fact that there were no details of how the revenue raised would be spent.

‘This should not happen until such time as cost of initiatives are known and agreed and we can mitigate against the impact on consumers, businesses and the inevitable rise in inflations,’ he said.

He added that the panel supported the principles behind the move, despite seeking to reduce the fuel duty increase.

A number of other backbenchers also raised concerns about the impact of the duty hike on small businesses and Islanders on lower incomes who were already struggling with the cost of living.

‘What is important is considering the impact on lower-income families before we impose draconian measures,’ said Senator Sarah Ferguson.

In response, Environment Minister John Young said that the amendment would delay action on the climate emergency declared by the States earlier this year.

‘I have listened carefully and am pleased the panel supports the principle and that it is imperative to tackle climate change,’ he said.

‘But if the Assembly goes with the amendment we would have to wait until the next Government Plan and then the revenue required could not be spent until the following year. This is a recipe for putting things off and delay.’

He added that he thought the amendment would ‘send the wrong signal to the public’ and that tackling vehicle emissions was a ‘priority’ for the government.

During an impassioned speech, Deputy Jess Perchard said that it was ‘ludicrous’ that more money had not been allocated to tackling climate change. The States plans to set aside £5 million to start the Climate Emergency Fund.

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