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Sinn Féin succeed in agreement to bring fuel suppliers in front of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.

15 April, 2010 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA and Chair of the Finance and Personnel committee in the Assembly Jennifer McCann has welcomed that the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee at Stormont agreed to bring in front of the committee the major fuel supplier for the North of Ireland following Ms McCann requesting this.  They will be brought in front committee of the in order to ascertain what they are doing to help reduce the high price of fuel at the moment.

Speaking today Ms McCann said:

“The current, and record peak of oil prices is placing a huge burden on both domestic and business users alike.

“Not only are people facing the high costs when fuelling their cars or heating their homes but the high prices are having a direct and negative impact on many aspects of life.

“If for example we just take the delivery section, the costs of transporting goods will increase and therefore those costs may very well be passed on to the consumer whether it be in supermarkets, local shops or at building trade suppliers.

“The high cost of fuel will also have a further impact on those who live in rural areas as they depend more on their cars for travel and access to work.

“While the cost of fuel has been increasing steadily over the past year due to a weakened pound sterling, we also need to explore what options are available to protect consumers.

“As such I have requested at the Finance and Personnel Committee that we call in front of us the major oil suppliers to the north to examine what they are doing or can do in relation to reducing costs and this has been accepted. I will also be taking similar measures at the Committee for Finance and Personnel.  

“Ultimately I think what we need to examine is what mechanisms can be put in place to regulate this industry in a similar way that the Utility Regulator would operate for electricity users, ensuring that consumers get a fair deal.

Ms McCann added:

“Further to this we will also be examining what the British government can do to alleviate the immediate pressures that people are facing. Currently the vast majority of the price of a litre of petrol is tax.

“In the current economic climate this is no way sustainable and certainly is detrimental to attempts to come out of recession.  What clearly needs to happen is that the British government must mitigate against rises in world fuel costs by reducing the tax burden to offset such increases.”

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