Norfolk MP calls for investigation into cause of fuel price rises
PUBLISHED: 14:57 16 September 2012 | UPDATED: 15:04 16 September 2012
A Norfolk MP has called for an independent investigation into alleged price-fixing in the oil market, which he believes is causing escalating fuel hikes at the pumps.
Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman spoke out against the rising costs of fuel and called for action into claims of anti-competitiveness in the oil industry during a debate in the House of Commons.
The Conservative MP backed fellow MP Robert Halfon’s campaign, PetrolPromise, which is seeking an investigation into the oil market, following reports that hedge funds and speculators are rigging the price of oil to keep it artificially high.
Mr Freeman said the failure of the oil market was raising the cost of living and undermined growth and Britain’s economic recovery.
He said: “The rural economy, particularly food and farming—our biggest manufacturing sector—is being damaged, and that is hugely significant in terms of our economic recovery. We need to shine a spotlight on the oil market by initiating a full and independent investigation into the allegations of price-fixing.”
“The rural economy, particularly in East Anglia, has the opportunity to drive a more sustainable model of economic growth, with small businesses playing a leading role. They need to be able to reach new markets to expand and build a successful future and fairer fuel prices are key to their success.”
The Office of Fair Trading have issued a call for information and will spend six weeks gathering evidence including looking at whether there is a lack of competition at the pumps in rural areas. It will publish its findings in January.
In response to calls from MPs, John Hayes the Minister for Energy, announced that the investigation into the LIBOR banking scandal will now also include a study of oil prices.