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07th February 2012

Highest Diesel Prices in Europe - Consumer Council Calls For Long Term Solutions

NI consumers faced the highest cost for petrol, diesel or both across the UK and the Republic of Ireland during every month in 2011. And during December 2011, and January 2012 we had the highest price for diesel in Europe.[1]

In November 2011, the Chancellor announced that the planned increase in fuel duty[2] due to take effect in January 2012 would be delayed until August, providing limited relief for consumers who are struggling with high fuel costs.

The Consumer Council has written to the Chancellor to ask what other actions the Government can take to help consumers affected by high fuel prices.  The Consumer Council is also seeking the following actions:

  1. Support calls for an investigation at EU level into the price of fuel. Consumers need transparency on fuel costs[3].
  2. The Westminster Government to explain what plans it has to help share the burden of high petrol and diesel prices with consumers.
  3. Major multi-site supermarket petrol and diesel retailers to end regional pricing.[4]
  4. Greater investment by the Northern Ireland Executive in public transport services to promote a viable alternative to the private car[5];

Aodhan O’Donnell, Director of Policy & Education at the Consumer Council explains:

“The decision to delay the planned fuel duty increase from January 2012 until August 2012 has had an impact on the price consumers pay in the short term. However, it is unlikely there will be a significant downward shift in petrol and diesel prices by August which means the impact on consumers is simply being delayed. We need to know what government intends to do to address this long running issue”.

Footnotes

[1] AA Monthly Fuel Price Reports.

2 The 3 pence per litre increase has been delayed until August 2012

3 In 2011 the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which includes Royal Automobile Club (RAC) and Automobile Association (AA) as members, has sent a letter to the European Union demanding that they investigate soaring petrol prices. The British Petrol Retailers’ Association has also raised their concerns with the UK Energy Minister and asked the Office of Fair Trading to look at the issue of transparent pricing.

4 Major supermarkets in NI continue to engage in regional pricing, charging up to six pence more     

   per litre for petrol or diesel depending on which of their locations you visit.

5 Per capita levels of investment in Northern Ireland for public transport have been much lower than in other UK regions with the result that many people do not have a viable public transport alternative to use of private cars.

Ends

  1. Consumer Council media contact: Pauline Gordon; telephone 028 9067 4813 or 07909 972704496 or e-mail, [email protected]  
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.
  3. For more information, visit our website at www.consumercouncil.org.uk

 

Editor Notes

 

A copy of the Consumer Council’s Briefing – ‘Review of Northern Ireland Petrol & Diesel Prices’ can be downloaded at www.consumercouncil.org.uk/publications or you can request  a copy by telephoning 0800 121 6022

Kind Regards

 


[1] AA Monthly Fuel Price Reports.


[2] The 3 pence per litre increase has been delayed until August 2012

[3] In 2011 the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which includes Royal Automobile Club (RAC) and Automobile Association (AA) as members, has sent a letter to the European Union demanding that they investigate soaring petrol prices. The British Petrol Retailers’ Association has also raised their concerns with the UK Energy Minister and asked the Office of Fair Trading to look at the issue of transparent pricing.

[4] Major supermarkets in NI continue to engage in regional pricing, charging up to six pence more     

   per litre for petrol or diesel depending on which of their locations you visit.

[5] Per capita levels of investment in Northern Ireland for public transport have been much lower than in other UK regions with the result that many people do not have a viable public transport alternative to use of private cars.

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