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Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has questioned whether recent reductions in wholesale fuel prices have been passed on to motorists and said that steps must be taken to ensure a transparent and fair pricing system is in place.
The DUP MP said, "The price of fuel is crippling many households across Northern Ireland. Because of our rural situation and the lack of suitable public transport solutions, the vast majority of people here rely on private cars.
"Fair pricing of fuel therefore is absolutely vital and it has been claimed by the RAC that reductions in the price of wholesale fuel have not been passed on to motorists. They have claimed that just 10% of forecourts are currently charging a fair price for petrol and diesel. They have also claimed that retailers should be charging around 174ppl instead of the UK average of 188ppl for unleaded.
"Whilst there will be regional variations due to the cost of transport around the UK, the wholesale cost of petrol has fallen by 17p per litre since the start of June. All customers know that wholesale cost increases are passed on to customers virtually immediately whilst reductions take much longer to filter through, if ever.
"Across a range of other fuel markets some form of regulation exists and if this practice is happening within the petrol industry then the Government must act. I have previously put forward a motion in the House of Commons calling for some form of Independent Price Watchdog to be explored. We have continued to press the Government for action to help motorists since then and it is vital there is assistance with element of the cost of living crisis.
"Motorists know and understand that overall fuel prices are at high levels, but what they will not stand for is any suggestion they are being ripped off when they fill the car or van. We need to ensure that peace of mind and action must be taken to ensure a transparent and fair pricing system is in place."