MP Tom Clarke backs probe into spiralling petrol and diesel prices

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AN official investigation into the soaring cost of filling up at the petrol pump has been launched - to the delight of a campaigning local MP.

Earlier this year Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill MP Tom Clarke hit out at rising prices at forecourts across the UK.

Now the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to look into the reasons why the cost of petrol has soared by up to 43 per cent in the last five years.

OFT director Claire Hart said: “We are keenly aware of continuing widespread concern about the pump price of petrol and diesel and we have heard a number of different claims about how the market is operating.

“We have therefore decided to take a broad based look at this sector, to provide an opportunity for people to share their concerns and evidence with us.”

But Mr Clarke urged the OFT researchers to broaden their remit to include the role the Government plays in pricing.

He explained: “The response from the OFT is most welcome but their terms of reference are somewhat limited. I am sure every consumer wants to be reassured that there is fair competition in this market without garages cheating customers. That however addresses only unfair competition.

“In these difficult economic times what is driving motorists to despair is the fact that sixty per cent of what is paid at the pumps goes straight into Treasury coffers.”

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