Scottish Independence: cheaper fuel prices for Scotland?

Cheaper fuel for scottish drivers?
20 Aug, 2014 6:00am Chris Ebbs

Will Scottish Independence mean cheaper petrol and diesel north of the border? What else could a 'yes' vote mean for motorists?

Scottish drivers could benefit from cheaper fuel if the country votes for independence.The Scottish Government is considering a fuel duty regulator, if the ‘yes’ vote comes out on top in Scotland's referendum on 18 September.

During times of high oil prices, this would use additional North Sea oil revenues and higher VAT receipts from increased forecourt prices to reduce fuel duty and take the pressure off motorists.

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A Scottish Government spokesman told us: “Scottish Ministers have repeatedly called on the UK Government to take action over increases in fuel duty on Scottish households and businesses. Independence would allow key decisions on taxation to be made in Scotland.

“As we have set out in Scotland’s Future following independence, the Scottish Government will examine the benefits of a Fuel Duty Regulator mechanism to stabilise fuel prices.”

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Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is also keen on introducing a form of Graduated Driving Licence (GDL) to help improve young driver safety, even though Westminster has dropped the scheme.

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A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is still the only young driver intervention for which there is clear evidence to show a reduction in the crash rate for new and young drivers and we are keen to look at options for introducing some form of it.

“Such schemes are already in place successfully in other countries and academics have predicted GDL – which can also lower insurance premiums – could save lives in Scotland.”

Scottish independence: how else would drivers be affected?

We asked an SNP spokesman about other possible changes if Scotland goes independent...

Q:  What would the border policy be? Would English drivers have to show passports to get in?

“An independent Scotland will remain in the Common Travel Area. That means there will be freedom of movement for nationals of the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands, and there will be no need to show your passport when travelling within the CTA – as is the case now.”

Q: Would English-registered cars have to wear stickers signifying they were from England?

“The Scottish Government intends that the current vehicle registration regime will remain in place at the point of independence. This will ensure that all licences and vehicle registrations granted by the DVLA are recognised in Scotland. The current vehicle registration number does not show the nationality of the vehicle keeper and this will remain in place after independence.”

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Q: Would foreign truckers have to pay a levy to get across the Scottish border?

“There are currently no plans to put in place a levy for truckers entering Scotland from the rest of the UK.”

Q: What would the policy in Scotland be for drink-driving? Would it have a lower limit to the rest of the UK?

“A Scottish Government consultation confirmed strong public support in Scotland for a lower limit. It will bring forward legislation to lower the drink-driving limit once technical changes to drink-drive testing devices have been made. Independence will allow all decisions on drink-driving policy to be taken in Scotland. Changes to the road traffic law would also include opportunities to empower our police to conduct random breath tests of drivers and create different drink-drive limits for different types of driver.”

Do you think the Scottish fuel duty regulator sounds like a good idea? Tell us in the comments section below...