SNP SMP Alasdair Allan and SNP MP Angus MacNeil act on increase in fuel prices
SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has asked the Scottish Parliament’s Energy Committee if it will consider enquiring into the apparent monopoly on the supply of fuel to the Western Isles.
Dr Allan’s move follows sharp rises in the cost of petrol and diesel in the islands in recent days.
Alasdair Allan commented: “I have already indicated to Scottish Fuels that many people in the islands struggle to see the justification for raising fuel prices by as much as 5 pence a litre at exactly the moment the UK Government have confirmed their intention to reduce duty in island areas by the same amount.
“I have therefore written to Gavin Brown MSP, the Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, to ask whether his committee will consider investigating this issue.
“People in the islands wonder just how high fuel prices are going to get, with a differential now of anything up to 20 pence a litre between the islands and cities. I know the Office of Fair Trading have taken an interest in the past on the lack of competition when it comes to the supply of fuel to the islands and the effect which that seems to have on wholesale prices. I believe that this would make an interesting enquiry for the committee.
“It is obviously up to the committee itself to choose its agenda, but I will certainly make a case to them for looking at an issue which is causing real anger at the Western Isles.”
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has today written to the Managing Director of Scottish Fuels Mr Tony Stewart inviting him to a meeting in the Hebrides to meet with the various stakeholders to discuss fuel prices throughout the islands. Last week the European Commission agreed to the request for a 5p a litre fuel duty cut in the Hebrides and other areas. Within 24 hours, the price of fuel in the islands increased by 4p a litre, provoking fury among many in the islands. Mr MacNeil has asked the Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP to look into fuel distribution costs in the Highlands and Islands. Yesterday, Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan asked the Scottish Parliament’s Energy Committee if it would consider looking at the apparent monopoly on the supply of fuel to the Western Isles.
AngusMacNeil commented: “For far too long many in the islands have had serious questions to ask about the cost of fuel and the huge difference in prices between Stornoway and Inverness, which currently stands at 17p a litre dearer in Stornoway than in the Highland capital. Many welcomed the announcement last week, that the European Commission had approved the request from the UK Government to reduce fuel by 5p a litre in rural areas like the Hebrides, but were aghast when within 24 hours the price of fuel locally had risen by 4p a litre.
“I have written to the Managing Director of Scottish Fuels in Scotland asking them to come to the islands and meet with the various stakeholders to discuss fuel prices and why there is such a huge difference in price between the islands and the mainland.
“I have asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP to look into the fuel distribution costs in the Highlands and Islands, which have been of huge concern for a long time.
“My colleague Alasdair Allan MSP has asked the Scottish Parliament’s Energy Committee if it would consider looking at the apparent monopoly on the supply of fuel to the Western Isles. Recently we saw one of Scottish Fuels subsidiary companies being fined £51,000 for excessive over charging on domestic fuel supply in Wales.
“It is imperative that we get to the root of the problem on why the price of fuel differs so much between the islands and the mainland. I am sure that Scottish Fuels will want to respect the ultimate users of their fuel by engaging fully with them about this issue.”