Fuel price rises to be investigated - Farron calls for action
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today welcomed news that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has just issued a call for information on the UK petrol and diesel sector.
UK Petrol prices rose by 38 percent between June 2007 and June 2012, and diesel prices by 43 percent over the same period.
In light of continuing public concern about pump prices, the OFT says that it "wants to identify whether or not there are competition problems that it can tackle" in the industry, and has invited the industry, motoring groups and consumer bodies to submit information.
The OFT will investigate the following claims:
- Whether reductions in the price of crude oil are being reflected in falling pump prices.
- Whether supermarkets' and major oil companies' practices may be making it more difficult for independent retailers to compete with them.
- Whether concerns about price co-ordination and the structure of road fuels markets identified by other national competition authorities are relevant in the UK.
- Whether there is a lack of competition between fuel retailers in some remote communities in the UK.
The OFT plans to publish its findings in January 2013.
Tim said: "The OFT investigation could help lead to a reduction in fuel prices at the pump, so this is a very welcome step. In rural areas like ours, a car is not a luxury; it is a necessity of life. Fuel costs are a major issue for local families and I am pushing hard to try and make the government act. The government have made some welcome moves on this issue, I urged the Chancellor to axe the previous government's planned rises last year - something which he did.
"However, there is still more they need to do to help hard-pressed businesses and families in Cumbria. I want to see the rural fuel derogation pilot, which is currently being successfully trialled in the Highlands, brought to Cumbria. This would slash 5p off the cost of petrol at forecourts throughout Cumbria.
"We also need to look at the cost of fuel to help haulage and businesses. Any extra cost at this time is something they cannot afford."