George Freeman calls for fairer fuel prices for Mid Norfolk
14th September 2012
The rising cost of fuel (and fuel duty) is hitting rural communities disproportionately hard. Today a very important debate was held to raise awareness of the impact of rising fuel prices. According to the website www.petrolprices.com in Mid-Norfolk some garages are charging 140.9p per litre. This is above the UK average of 138.99p (BBC News). Drivers in rural areas are being hurt most by rising fuel prices because we have to travel further, and yet we are paying more per litre than urban commuters.
The average income in Mid-Norfolk is £24,600 but families often need to run two cars. Rural communities are paying more for their fuel, which is undermining growth and economic activity, particularly in the food and farming sector. I am passionate about the potential of the rural economy of East Anglia to drive a sustainable economic recovery, but it needs the fuel to do it.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have issued a call for information and will spend six weeks gathering evidence about issues including whether there is a lack of competition at the pumps in rural areas. It will publish its findings in January 2013 along with recommendations. During the debate, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change John Hayes announced the investigation into the banking scandal of LIBOR will now include a study of oil prices and he will write to FSA asking for a full enquiry.
To follow the debate as it develops, go to Twitter and follow:
Robert Halfon MP @halfon4harlowMP
Petrol Promise @PetrolPromise