Waveney MP Peter Aldous today criticised the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) after their recent report on fuel competition found no need to a full enquiry.
The OFT report on fuel competition published on 30th January concluded that at a national level competition is working well in the fuel market but Aldous argues that the remit of the OFT investigation was too narrow and neglected to address the broader context of rural fuel poverty. The OFT report recognises that in August last year petrol and diesel prices in rural areas were 1.9 and 1.7 pence per litre more expensive respectively. The report also argues that there are some competition problems in local areas.
Mr Aldous argues that people living in rural and periphery areas such as Lowestoft and the Waveney area suffer a “triple whammy” in relation to fuels costs. They have greater distances to travel, pay more at the pumps and have relatively low incomes.
Countryside Alliance research published in November 2012 showed that:
Mr Aldous’ analysis of 2012 Countryside Alliance data shows that:
Mr Aldous also points out that this is only part of the picture as people in rural areas have further to travel to access vital public services such as schools and hospitals and have far less access to public transport:
Mr Aldous said:
“Motorists in Waveney face a triple whammy when it comes to fuel costs, having further to travel to work and to access public services, paying more for their fuel and with relatively low incomes. The OFT Report identified problems in rural areas and should now conduct a full enquiry as to how competition in rural and periphery areas such as Waveney can be improved. I will be writing to the OFT and will be discussing with the Minister the impact of fuel prices on hard working people living in rural and periphery areas.”
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