Tory MP: 'Oil companies have a cartel monopoly' over consumers

17 May 2022, 18:08

By Seán Hickey

The government must introduce a 'Pumpatch regulator' to ensure cuts to fuel prices are passed on to consumers and not abused by fuel companies, this Conservative MP tells LBC.

Eddie Mair was joined by Conservative MP Robert Halfon to break down findings from RAC research which show that petrol retailers are failing to pass on cuts to fuel duty to everyday consumers.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a cut to the tax in his Spring statement in a bid to soften the blow of the cost of living crisis to millions across the country, but the RAC's report shows that prices haven't changed massively to favour consumers.

Mr Halfon told Eddie that there needs to be an independent regulator like Ofgem "to regulate the oil companies and make sure prices are fairly passed on to consumers."

Eddie asked what sort of powers should be given to the proposed regulator, which the Tory MP dubbed "Pumpwatch".

"I think that Pumpwatch should have similar powers [to other regulators] and say to the government that actually, the prices are not being properly reflected at the pumps.

"There's unfair competition here, because in essence the oil companies have a cartel monopoly on what they provide to the consumer."

Eddie was suprised by Mr Halfon's comments, asking him if he really believed there to be collusion between oil companies.

"I don't think there's fair competition," he clarified, adding that "there needs to be an inquiry as to what on earth is going on in terms of what oil companies are doing."

"How receptive was the chancellor when you raised this?" Eddie wondered, to which the Tory MP said Rishi Sunak did take into account his comments.

"It's no good if the Chancellor is cutting fuel duty" if it doesn't come back to consumers, Mr Halfon concluded.

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