In the week that Scotland faced protests over the price of fuel, Scottish Liberal Democrat Economy spokesperson Willie Rennie MSP has today written to the Transport Secretary to call for the Scottish Government to follow the lead of the Northern Irish Government and introduce a price checker to help motorists combat rising fuel costs.
Mr Rennie’s calls come as the price for a litre of petrol and diesel rose beyond £2 in some areas of Scotland.
In Northern Ireland, a publicly funded online tracking service lets motorists know the cheapest fuel on offer in their local area, which has forced pump owners to keep their prices competitive.
In a letter to the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, Mr Rennie wrote:
I am writing to update you on the current situation regarding fuel prices in Scotland.
As you are aware, in some parts of Scotland, the price for a litre of petrol and diesel passed the £2 mark last week. Fuel prices are continuing to rise and we must take action now to help Scottish motorists facing increasing costs.
The Northern Ireland price checker, which is run by the Consumer Council, is an excellent model that helps to tackle rising petrol prices. This model has contributed to motorists in Northern Ireland paying 35p less than Scottish motorists in June.
The checker is publicly funded and works by letting motorists know exactly how much they should be paying for fuel. This allows consumers to avoid more expensive suppliers.
The checker helps consumers find the best deals for fuel and it drives down prices. It must be independent of the government, but the Scottish Government should help it to get established quickly.
Will you commit to introducing a similar price checker scheme for motorists in Scotland?
I look forward to hearing from you in due course.