RURAL communities could benefit from government plans to freeze fuel duty until 2015 – provided it can find the money to do so.
Chancellor George Osborne made the pledge at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Monday (30 September).
"Provided we can find the savings to pay for it, I want to freeze fuel duty for the rest of this Parliament," he told conference delegates.
Lib Dem MP Tim Farron, who has previously written to the Chancellor and lobbied the Prime Minister on the issue, welcomed the pledge.
But the MP for Cumbria's South Lakes said he would also continue to call for a 5p cut in duty through a rural fuel derogation scheme.
Mr Farron said he wanted to make sure Cumbria is involved in any future scheme.
In August, the government launched a consultation on a fuel derogation area for Cumbria, which is similar to an rural discount initiative already used in the Scottish islands.
The plan is designed to prevent rural drivers paying a premium for fuel.
Mr Farron said: "For the last three years I have fought to try and cut fuel prices for people in Cumbria. In rural areas like ours, a car is not a luxury, it is a necessity of life.
He added: "Fuel costs are a major issue for families and I am pushing hard to try and make the government act.
"The government have made some welcome moves and this is another – but freezes are not enough, we need a cut. I'll keep pushing to make this happen."
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