carrick Holyrood candidate Adam Ingram has challenged his Labour Party rivals to back SNP demands for powers on fuel duty to be devolved fully to Scotland.
The SNP MSP believes the move is vital in order to tackle the “ongoing scandal” of fuel prices.
Mr Ingram’s comments come as First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that the SNP will make this a central issue of the Holyrood elections and that, with these powers, a Nationalist government would cut the price of fuel by 10p a litre.
And with petrol prices predicted to hit a record high of £1.40 a litre by Easter, Mr Ingram feels Scotland should have control of tax on fuel.
He said: “Nobody can dispute that fuel prices in Ayrshire are now getting out of control, with prices reaching as much as £1.30 per litre for petrol and £1.33 for diesel. A huge proportion of that price goes straight to the UK Treasury in tax, with those areas which already pay most for their petrol charged most in VAT.
“The SNP will go into these elections making clear that this problem cannot be solved for so long as the power to do anything about it rests in London.
“We are still waiting for the UK Government to honour the promise it made last year to reduce fuel duty in island areas.
“That’s why Alex Salmond has made clear that the SNP will fight hard for this power to be devolved to Scotland and that, with this power, an SNP Government would cut fuel duty by 10 pence per litre.”
He continued: “Scotland is an energy-rich nation and it is unacceptable that parts of Scotland pay more for their fuel than practically anywhere else in the world.
“With a bill currently before the UK Parliament looking at the powers of the Scottish Parliament, I challenge anyone to tell me why we should leave it to the London Government to decide how much we pay at the pumps in Scotland.
“I would call on all parties, including Labour, to back the transfer of this power.”