£1 a Litre Heating Oil is a Scandal

4 06 2013

20 litre oil drum

Families who run out of heating oil and cannot afford to refill in bulk will fork out £19.99 for a 20 litre drum which works out at £1 a litre.  If they can get their hands on a drum and fill it onsite and carry it home the price falls to 80p a litre which is still 40% more than the cost of having it delivered to your home in larger quantities.

 East Derry SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat has described the practice of hiking the price of heating oil to the most vulnerable people in society in small quantities as distasteful and scandalous.

 He said:

 “Fuel poverty is now one of the most serious issues facing the most vulnerable people in society.  In the main these are families with young children and the elderly.  42% of children with families are now experiencing severe fuel poverty while half of those over 60 are in a similar situation.

 “There is no justification for hiking the price of heating oil to such levels when it is clear that there are no added expenses incurred by the retailer.  Can you imagine the outrage there would be if motorists were told the cost of petrol or diesel would be jacked up because it is filled at the pump?

 “The appearance of oil drums in forecourts priced at *£19.99 for 20 litres cannot be justified and is best described as a rip-off.  With 68% of people totally dependent on oil the issue of price control is ever greater.

 “I have tabled a written question to the Minister for Social Development highlighting this rip-off and asking what plans he has to bring some kind of supervision and control to the oil industry which will protect the most vulnerable people in society who find themselves depending on oil drums as the only means of affording this kind of fuel.”

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