Highlands & Islands

Ex-energy minister 'transparency' call in fuel row

Fuel pump
Image caption News of a fuel duty discount was followed by prices rises on the isles

A former Labour minister has said total transparency was needed in the fuel supply chain so factors influencing price rises could be identified.

Brian Wilson's comments came as petrol and diesel prices went up at some garages on the Western Isles following approval of a motor fuel duty discount.

Several island councillors have called for a campaign to tackle the increases.

Local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has not blamed retailers but has questioned the actions of distributors.

Former energy minister Mr Wilson, who lives on the Western Isles, said total transparency was needed for "sensible discussion" on the issue.

He said: "The essential building block for any such campaign is to obtain the step-by-step information about where the additional price/profit along the way is attributable to.

"Equalisation of wholesale prices, or at least moderation of the differential, is possible. But not if the oil companies think - as they do - that other stages of the supply chain would continue to be the beneficiaries."

SNP Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil has called for the UK government to alter its plans to cut fuel duty on Scottish islands to make sure there will not be what he called "cynical profiteering" by the fuel distributors.

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