Weir welcomes pricing review

Angus MP Mike Weir has welcomed news that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is reviewing the pricing of petrol and diesel in the UK.

In light of continuing public concern about pump prices, the OFT will gather evidence to determine whether or not there are competition problems that it can tackle in the sector.

The six week review will consider whether there are issues making it hard for independent retailers to compete, lack of competition in rural areas, and whether falling costs of crude oil are reflected in the forecourt prices.

The OFT is inviting the industry, motoring groups and consumer bodies to submit information to the review.

Commenting on the review Mr Weir said: “I welcome this investigation into the fairness of fuel pricing. The rising costs of fuel are causing severe hardship to many households in Angus.

“The OFT will I hope, look into differentials between prices in certain areas and also look into the difference between fuel stations, given that prices at fuel depots are constant for all retailers on a given week.

“However, this is to be a UK wide investigation and I hope that the whole chain is looked at, from the refinery to the car petrol tank and all the handlers in-between.

“We need to have a definitive view one-way or another from a thorough investigation and expert analysis of what exactly creates the problem we all experience, particularly in rural areas.

“The chief culprit for soaring fuel prices remains the UK government, who take almost 60% of the cost of petrol and diesel - the highest fuel tax grab in Europe.

“The SNP led a successful cross party campaign at Westminster to halt a further damaging three pence rise this autumn, but more needs to be done to tackle the issue - including a fuel duty regulator to protect households from fuel hikes in the longer term.”