HC Deb 12 March 1984 vol 56 c12
12. Mr. Proctor

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will estimate the effects of the increased price of heavy fuel oil on capital intensive industry; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Since I replied to my hon. Friend on 10 February, competition has already reduced the increase that I mentioned then.

Mr. Proctor

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the concern of industry at the high price of heavy fuel oil, particularly 18 per cent. price increases in the past six months, the instantaneous nature of the price increases and the burden of heavy fuel oil tax?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am aware of that concern, particularly in energy-intensive industries which use fuel oil. As my hon. Friend knows, the prices of that product tend to be higher in the winter because of seasonal factors. As I said earlier, the prices have eased somewhat, even since the last increase. It is significant that the United Kingdom price, net of tax, is comparable to prices elsewhere in Europe.