Waveney MP’s pledge to help those affected by high fuel prices
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014
High fuel prices hit Waveney households and businesses particularly hard as local drivers invariably have to make longer journey, wages are lower than in other areas and prices at the pumps are higher.
The dramatic fall in oil prices is thus generally very good news for Lowestoft motorists, although there are consequences that need to be addressed.
There is evidence that falls in wholesale crude oil prices are not being passed on fast enough to motorists by oil majors, refiners, speculators and retailers.
Therefore I am calling on the government to look again at the issues of oil price manipulation and forecourt prices, and to set up an inquiry to bring transparency and clarity to the market.
This will ensure that customers fully benefit from such dramatic price falls.
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It is also apparent that prices on the forecourt are higher in areas such as Waveney and the big fuel retailers are charging more than they are in metropolitan areas.
A Bill has been introduced in the House of Commons to address this issue, which I am supporting.
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The collapse in oil prices is having a negative impact on the North Sea oil and gas industry, in which many local businesses are active.
I took part in a debate that considered this issue. I called on the government to change the industry's tax structure at the forthcoming Budget and to introduce a new regulatory regime to replace the existing one, which has changed very little since 1960s and 1970s when the industry was very different to what it is today.
This will enable the country to better manage its oil and gas resources.
I also highlighted the need to provide a regional plan for the southern North Sea, which is an important gas producing region and which faces specific challenges.
This is important so as to ensure that we are not over reliant on gas imports.
These changes are needed urgently so as to safeguard existing jobs and to create new ones. I shall continue to press for them in the coming weeks.
Finally, I look forward to seeing as many people as possible at the forthcoming meeting at the Orbis Energy Centre at 7pm on February 18, when WSP will be presenting its third crossing study, explaining their findings and answering questions.