Ritchie welcomes OFT fuel price review

Posted by
Friday, September 7th, 2012
Community, Politics
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has welcomed the announcement of an OFT review into fuel prices. Ms Ritchie, who leads on energy issues for the SDLP in Westminster, has said the report must make clear recommendations and pave the way for a more effective fuel market. Speaking to Newry Times, she said: “This OFT review is long overdue as consumers in the North of Ireland continue to pay the highest price at the pumps in Europe. I would urge them to come to Northern Ireland as part of this review to see firsthand the problems faced. “At a time when the economy is suffering people are being hit with extortionate fuel prices that put a strain on household budgets and reduce young people’s economic opportunities. These prices also hit local businesses who are already suffering from the current recession.” Ritchie continued, “The CEBR have already stated that lowering fuel duty would be revenue neutral and would spur growth. However, the government have been slow to act and still we see clearly that fuel prices seem to react very quickly to rises in the cost of crude oil but very slowly when the cost drops. “The OFT need to examine the relationship between supermarkets and oil companies and make clear recommendations on their impact on the market. I also welcome the emphasis that will be given to the prices in rural areas such as my own constituency where consumers, who are the most reliant on their vehicles for work, are faced with even higher prices.” She added, “There are clear issues related to competition here and the OFT needs to find the conditions required for a level playing field.”
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