Supermarket Fuel Pricing Policies Need More Consistency, says Committee
Synopsis: The Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment quizzed officials from Tesco, Asda and the NI Retail Consortium on their respective fuel pricing policies.
Date: 17 October 2013
Reference: ETI 01/12/13
The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment today quizzed officials from Tesco, Asda and the NI Retail Consortium on their respective fuel pricing policies. This is following consideration of a Consumer Council report earlier this year that demonstrated inconsistencies in fuel prices between different locations in the same supermarket chain.
Chairperson of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Patsy McGlone MLA said: "Today's briefing arose as a result of information that the Committee had received earlier this year regarding quite substantial differences in fuel pricing across outlets in same supermarket chains. Consumers seem to be treated differently, solely based on the area in which they buy their fuel, and obviously, this is a cause of major concern.
"Although the evidence received today provided by Tesco, Asda and the NI Retail Consortium provided some clarity on their fuel pricing policies, the Committee is disappointed in the apparent lack of consistency when it comes to application of their policies. The Committee realises that there are factors outside of our control, such as wholesale fuel prices, taxation and location, which directly influence the price of fuel. However, when a retailer has a specific policy for fuel pricing, we'd like to see it consistently applied throughout an area."
Mr McGlone concluded: "The Committee wants to ensure that the consumer is being treated equitably, fairly and with transparency. As such, we have agreed to invite the UK's first independent Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) to the Committee in the near future. This briefing may be useful in order to establish a mechanism to ensure fair and best practice in the fuel supply chain."