Parliamentarians unhappy after OFT rejects case for intervention in heating oil market

Shetland parliamentarians Alistair Carmichael and Tavish Scott have again called for a review of the heating oil market in the Northern Isles after a report from the Office for Fair Trading argued that there is no case for direct intervention at present.

The report from the OFT concluded that 97 per cent of all households around the UK that use fuel oil have a choice of four or more suppliers.

The study, which did not examine the market for automotive fuel, is now the subject of further consultation and MP Mr Carmichael and MSP Mr Scott are seeking an early meeting with the OFT to discuss the issue.

Mr Carmichael said: “In their report the OFT made much of the range of suppliers available in many areas of the country but the simple fact is that people in the Northern Isles have little or no choice when it comes to deciding where to buy their heating oil.

“People in Orkney and Shetland are forced to buy from one source and given the high prices we have seen in recent years I think there is a real case for the OFT to look again at our local market.

“I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the OFT to discuss this issue.”

Mr Scott added: “This report reinforces the cast iron case for a full OFT investigation into the cost that Islanders are paying. There is no market in Shetland and we are being hammered by a monopoly distributor. It is time for action to help households who pay a higher percentage of their income on heating the home than anywhere else in the UK.”


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