East Derry Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has called for action on the price of fuel at petrol stations since prices have hit an all-time high, with diesel prices set to follow suit.
Speaking yesterday Mr Ó hOisín said: “The price of petrol at the pumps is placing ordinary people under severe pressure. The price reaching an all-time high, with diesel close behind is a huge strain on peoples already stretched budgets.
“This will be further compounded by the fact that the British chancellor is set to raise the tax on fuel by three pence per litre in August.
“The simple fact is that these high prices will stave off any economic recovery and place extra and severe pressure on households across the north.
“The effects will be felt even harder in rural communities where public transport infrastructure is not sufficient and people rely on their cars.” continued Mr Ó hOisín
“The north of Ireland currently has the most expensive fuel on these islands and indeed in Europe. The British government’s tax take is 58.5 pence out of every pound on petrol and 56.5 pence on diesel. This is completely unsustainable.
“Beyond the huge tax take, which the British government there is a priority now to establish a task force to ascertain the reasons why we are paying the highest costs in Europe for our fuel and produce firm recommendations to tackle the causes head on.
“Sinn Féin will bring a motion to the Assembly next Tuesday calling for the transfer of powers on fuel duty as a measure to stem this situation.
“The reasons being trotted out time and again are not good enough given that in the same month in March 2009, only three years ago, we were paying just under £1 per litre. What then really accounts for a 50p rise?”
Sinn Féin is scheuled to bring a motion to the Assembly today on the 3p price increase on fuel and calling for the transfer of powers on fuel duty.