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Highland MSP Questions Treasury on Fuel Discount Scheme Failings

3rd February 2014

Highlands and Islands regional MSP, Rhoda Grant has written to Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury about the bungled role out of the Fuel Discount Scheme across the Highlands.

Last weeks announcement by the Treasury saw an extension of the planned roll out of the scheme to include Halkirk postcode (KW12) despite the local petrol station closing down last December. Due to the extension being organised by postcodes rural communities such as Bettyhill have failed to be included in the scheme due to sharing a postcode with the larger Thurso area.

The decision to roll out the Fuel Discount Scheme by postcode has also put community plans for a new station in Helmsdale at risk as the attachment to the Wick postcode means they have been overlooked again. The postcode decision haunted Danny Alexander MP last October when it was announced Achnasheen would be eligible for the cut-price fuel scheme despite the petrol station having closed over 5 years ago. Rhoda Grant MSP has also called for a shake up of the Caithness postcode area in the hope this could help target the scheme better.

Speaking earlier Rhoda Grant MSP saidA number of constituents have contacted me about the botched role out of the Fuel Discount Scheme across the north, many disappointed that fragile rural communities have been missed out and areas once again with no filling station have been included.

I have written to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander to ask if the scheme can be expanded to include rural villages such as Bettyhill and why it is necessary to role out the scheme by postcode rather than by need.

This has led to gaffe after gaffe with postcodes without petrol stations being included, it is about time Danny Alexander sorted this out and makes sure the areas that really need and could benefit from this scheme are included.

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