6 September 2000
FUW: Follow French lead on fuel tax
By FWi staff
FARMERS and hauliers should follow the example of the French and campaign together for a reduction in fuel prices, says a Welsh producers representative.
The Farmers Union of Wales is writing to the Road Haulage Association to investigate the feasibility of launching a joint campaign over high fuel prices.
FUW President Bob Parry revealed the course of action during a visit to Bryncelynog Farm, Trawsfynyddon Wednesday (06 Sep).
In France hauliers and farmers have been blockading oil installations in a bid to force the government to cut fuel taxes.
Last week the French government gave in to demands by fishermen for reduced taxes on diesel after they blockaded ports.
We have all seen just how effective farmers, hauliers and fishermen can be in France when they work together to achieve a common goal — and remember that they are already paying less for their fuel at the pumps than we are, said Mr Parry.
While I am not proposing any illegal action, I strongly believe that the only way to convince politicians of the crippling effect of high fuel prices is through a co-ordinated plan of action.
That is why it is important for farmers, hauliers, and any other business that is suffering because of these high fuel prices to co-operate to get the message across to our politicians.
Mr Parry said while the Government could do virtually nothing about the increase in world oil prices, it could cut fuel duty by at least 10p per litre.
UK petrol and diesel prices at the pumps now average 81p per litre, compared with a European wide average of 63.6p per litre.
The average fuel tax rate in Europe is 64.2%, compared with a rate of 76%in the UK
On Wednesday (06 Sep) the main French freight federation said a government offer to cut fuel taxes was insufficient and the blockade would continue.