HOLYROOD NOTES: Recent fall in petrol prices is very welcome

As part of the Robert Burns celebrations recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to Greenlaw Primary School’s Burns Lunch.

A pupil of the school sent me a written invitation, which was a very nice touch and one which meant I could hardly say no!

The traditional haggis, neaps and tatties was prepared excellently by staff and I and other invited guests were treated to a number of great performances by the pupils of the school.

The pupils that I spoke to had a very good understanding of the life and work of The Bard and an appreciation of his impact on Scottish culture. I know that similar celebrations have taken place across the Borders, which has a very strong tradition of admiring Robert Burns and celebrating his life and work no less than 250 years after his birth.

I was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to the Borders recently, when he visited Hawick Knitwear and Hawick Rugby Club, after what was a very busy and eventful morning in Edinburgh.

At Hawick Knitwear, the Prime Minister outlined the Conservative led Government’s recent efforts to ensure all parts of the UK benefit from economic growth and pledged the UK Government would do more to help open up overseas markets.

Later on, the Prime Minister joined me to meet Hawick Rugby Club players and coaches, as well as hundreds of Borderers who were keen to meet the Prime Minister and have their photographs taken.

The Prime Minister reminded us all about how important the up-coming General Election is. We know the SNP is now targeting the Borders and believe they can win. I will continue to work hard to represent the vast majority of Borderers who fear the SNP will use the General Election as a stepping stone to a further independence referendum.

The recent fall in petrol prices is very welcome news for motorist, particularly those in Berwickshire where a car is often a necessity and not a luxury. However the current fuel duty pricing means that the tax cut which the UK Government is taking is now rising considerably. Because fuel because fuel duty is fixed at 57.95p per litre, this tax now makes up well over half of the total cost of petrol. In January 2014, fuel duty was the equivalent of 44% of the total cost of a litre of petrol. But because prices have fallen, fuel duty now makes up as much as 56% of this cost.

That is why I am calling on a Conservative majority Government to do more to put money back in the pockets of motorists and believe the time has come to reduce fuel duty by 3p. This will save a family filing up once a week, more than £78 a year.

If elected in May, I will push for the UK Government to implement this change so that families are given more of their own money to spend on other things. Residents can help me by signing my petition at: “https://www.change.org/p/uk-government-cut-fuel-duty”