21 JAN 2015

SIMON HART MP – "TIME FOR ACTION ON FUEL INEQUALITY"

Pembrokeshire drivers are being made to pay high petrol prices by large supermarkets and the competition regulator should be given the power to intervene, says local MP Simon Hart.

Mr Hart is supporting fellow Conservative Mark Garnier in a bid to give the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) power to intervene when large price differences between rural and urban areas cannot be explained by companies.

The big 4 supermarkets - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons - operate 16% of petrol pumps but sell 44% of Britain's road fuel.

"This means that in areas like Pembrokeshire where there are not many petrol stations there is less competition," said Mr Hart.

"By contrast cities and large towns have better public transport and more petrol stations which leads to more competition and prices kept low."

Mr Hart was a supporter of the Road Fuel Pricing (Equalisation) Ten Minute Rule which Mr Garnier introduced to the Commons last week.

Mr Garnier said: "The question then inevitably comes - is the significant price anomaly between the same brand supermarkets and road fuel prices a healthy outcome of market forces or a cynical attempt by supermarkets to charge premium prices for fuel in areas where competition is weak in order to subsidise their activities where competition is strong?"

Mr Hart agrees that the solution is to give the CMA the power to demand an immediate explanation from petrol-selling companies of any price "anomaly" and if it is not satisfactory, the regulator would be able to intervene to equalise prices.

"Why should people in Pembrokeshire pay more for the same fuel from the same supermarket than people in Swansea or Cardiff?" he added.

 

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Contact Simon

Write:

Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Or

15, St John St
Whitland
Carmarthenshire
SA34 0AN

Phone:

01994 242002
or 0207 219 3000

Email:

simon.hart.mp@parliament.uk

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