The MPs for Arfon, Ceredigion and Dwyfor Meirionnydd have tabled a parliamentary motion calling on the UK government to urgently review Mileage Allowance Payments and abolish the cap which sees drivers receive a reduced rate if they exceed 10,000 miles in the tax year.
Approved mileage rates are set by HMRC, but there is currently no specific calculation involved in setting out these rates.
The UK Government has said the rates are a policy decision taken after considering issues including the cost of motoring, the cost to the public purse of changing the rate, and the overall fiscal position.
Approved mileage rates have not been updated since 2011 and Plaid Cymru argues that these rates should be urgently reviewed, given the significant rise in motoring costs, fuel costs and vehicle maintenance costs in recent years.
Research carried out by Unison shows that one in five frontline public service workers are required to drive to carry out their work duties and many are paid significantly lower than average wages, particularly when it comes to social care workers.
Plaid Cymru MPs Ben Lake, Liz Saville Roberts and Hywel Williams are urging the government to act and have already secured support for their Motion from both Labour and SDLP MPs. Mrs Saville Roberts and Mr Williams said: “For many frontline public service workers in rural parts of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and Arfon, driving significant distances is essential to fulfil their daily duties.
“As such, it is only reasonable that the mileage rates that workers are paid for distances travelled as part of their work should rise in line with rising fuel costs.
“Unfortunately, the rates have not been reviewed since 2011, which means too many frontline workers such as nurses, domiciliary carers and support workers have been forced to pay increasing amounts to cover the rising cost of fuel.
“This is blatantly unfair, and the UK government should undertake an urgent review of the Mileage Allowance rates to ensure that the support it provides is adequate.
“Plaid Cymru is also concerned that the failure to raise mileage rates is particularly detrimental to the voluntary sector and the ability for charities and third sector organisations to recruit and retain volunteers, which has a far-reaching impact in our rural communities.”