Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, today joined colleagues from across the House and lead spokesmen for FairFuelUK, Quentin Willson, to petition the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for a full and transparent inquiry into the oil pricing process.
The FairFuelUK petition contains over 30,000 signatures from campaign supporters collected in just 5 days and asks the OFT to actively investigate oil price manipulation – something European and American regulators are already doing.
A banner was also unveiled as part of a call for a vigorous inquiry by the UK’s Fair Market Protection body.
Mr Metcalfe commented: “When the global price of oil goes up, naturally, the cost of fuel at the pumps goes up. My constituents won’t be surprised to learn that when the price of oil comes down, the cost of fuel does not always follow suit.”
“This has to change. The price of fuel affects everyone, from businesses to families with the poorest being hit twice as hard as the rich. This is unacceptable and I was therefore extremely keen to make the most of an opportunity to lobby the OFT on this issue.”
The average Briton spends 10% of their disposable income on fuel, whilst the poorest spend 27%.
In response to the meeting, the OFT released a statement saying: “The OFT recognises that the price of petrol and diesel is a subject of significant public concern...We continue to welcome any new information about this market. Where we receive credible evidence of potentially anti-competitive behaviour, we will look to take action, as we have done in other markets.”
Mr Metcalfe added: “My colleagues, FairFuelUK, and I, believe that the evidence is there. We will continue to campaign for a full investigation like our American and European counterparts so that our constituents get a fair price at the pumps.”