Hume to discuss petrol prices with Chancellor

 

Northern Ireland petrol retailers are to warn the Chancellor of the Exchequer today that more filling stations could close and jobs be lost unless the price differential with stations across the Border is addressed.

Representatives of the Petrol Retailers' Association will join former SDLP leader Mr John Hume at a meeting with Mr Gordon Brown and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Mr John Healey, in London.

They will express concern at the much higher fuel costs north of the Irish border and taxation levels which are leading many Northern Ireland consumers to head south.

As they prepare to take their case to Mr Brown, Mr Hume said he hoped the Government would take on board their concerns.

"The price gap between north and south is 25 pence per litre for petrol and 30 pence for diesel," the Foyle MP said.

"The tax element of the petrol price is 81 per cent in the north compared with 71 per cent in the south.

"This has led to the closure of 120 filling stations in the north in the last four years - particularly in Derry, Tyrone and Fermanagh".

PA