The Milton Keynes Liberal Democrats will propose a motion at Full Council tomorrow night calling for fairer prices at the city’s petrol stations.
This comes as residents in Milton Keynes, despite being a city, have for many years paid on average 10p per litre more for fuel than some small towns.
Residents in Milton Keynes can pay anything from £1.47 up to £1.53 per litre, whereas a short distance away in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire prices as low as £1.42 Meanwhile in Cambridgeshire prices are even lower at £1.40.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Andy Carr who represents Newport Pagnell South and will be moving the motion, said:
“People have told us they travel to Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire to save money at the petrol pumps and these figures show why. The fact that petrol is 10p cheaper in Cambridgeshire than it is in Milton Keynes is ridiculous. It’s common for cities to have lower petrol prices but not the other way around. These prices are deeply unfair on residents and local businesses as they are having to fork out an extra 10p per litre for petrol. This means some families in Milton Keynes are paying on average over £300 more per year in fuel than a family living in Cambridgeshire. Something urgently needs to be done.”
As well as higher petrol prices, residents who use their cars and vans for business will also be at a disadvantage as the Approved Mileage Allowance rate of 45p per mile has not changed since 2011 and no longer covers the cost of using your own car for business.
In January, the City Council recognised this and offered a one-off £300 payment to help ease costs for their employees who are required to complete essential high mileage car journeys as part of their job role. However, businesses cannot offer higher rates than 45p as employees are liable to pay more tax.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Uroy Clarke will be seconding the motion, added:
“Employers in social care are having difficulty recruiting staff, and with the Approved Mileage Allowance rate unchanged at 45p since 2011, I can see why. Staff are out all day visiting those who need care, so fuel costs are generally high, but for those in Milton Keynes even higher. It’s time this unfair taxation is stopped.”
The rate of Approved Mileage Allowance is set by the Government, and recently the Association of Taxation Technicians who provide UK tax compliance services have called for a review.
Tomorrow night, the City Council will be asked to lobby local MPs Ben Everitt and Iain Stewart to assess what can be done to lower fuel prices for the residents of Milton Keynes and call for an increase in the 45p per mile rate. The City Council will also be asked to continue to support City Council employees and the local business community where it can.