Momentum grows for action on fuel prices

The SNP Westminster Transport Spokesperson Angus MacNeil MP backed cross-party calls for action on fuel prices, including full investigations into the petrol and diesel market.

Speaking during a backbench parliamentary debate on fuel prices, Mr MacNeil welcomed the review of pricing of petrol and diesel by the Office of Fair Trading, which 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.

Mr MacNeil also renewed calls for a fuel duty regulator to be introduced to protect consumers from future price hikes – a measure the SNP has supported for over a decade.

Mr MacNeil said:

"The pressure for concrete action to tackle fuel prices is rising. People are fed up being hammered by high prices at the pump, particularly in rural areas, and scrutiny of the sector is long overdue.

“The review of petrol and diesel prices by the OFT is a welcome development. It will, I hope, look into what is happening across the whole supply chain – from the refinery to the petrol tank and all the handlers in-between.

“We need to have a thorough investigation of what exactly creates the problem we all experience, especially 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 3 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.

“With a call for evidence from the OFT and now this debate there is clearly growing momentum for action and we must seize the moment.”