This week it was fantastic to see the Royal Welsh Show return after two long years, writes Jane Dodds MS.

The show is an opportunity to showcase our beautiful county to the world and we are lucky to be able to showcase truly world class produce and enterprise from our local community. I would like to place on record my thanks to all those involved in organisation and running of the show and all those who participated.

Underneath the success demonstrated this week however, many residents in our county are struggling deeply to make ends meet as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.

Powys as a rural county has felt the impact of inflation harder than urban areas with the so-called ‘rural premium’ resulting in higher fuel and transportation costs. Research from the Countryside Alliance tells us that those in rural areas will spend £800 more a year on filling up their car.

For many, using their car is a lifeline, not just for their personal life, but for being able to work. This is especially true in rural parts of Wales due to the poor public transport connections. As a result of recent increases to fuel prices, people have been considering having to give up work or change jobs.

It is for this reason the Welsh Liberal Democrats are continuing to campaign for the rural fuel duty cut. As a party we have been campaigning for rural Wales to be added to the UK Government’s Rural Fuel Duty Relief Scheme for over a decade, but have continuously been blocked by the Conservatives.

The Scheme, which already applies to large parts of rural Scotland and England gives motorists 5p off the litre. Under Liberal Democrat plans this would be rolled out to Powys and raised to 10p per litre.

The Conservatives have been in power for over 10 years now and had MPs in Powys for most of that period. The fact they haven’t already secured the expansion of the Rural Fuel Duty Relief Scheme to Powys shows they take our communities for granted.

I and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for the residents in Powys and press the Conservative UK Government to change their mind. If the scheme can be rolled out in rural Scotland and England, there is no reason it shouldn’t apply to Wales either.