HC Deb 17 July 1968 vol 768 cc249-50W
Mr. Ashley

asked the Minister of Power when he will be able to make an announcement on the temporary surcharge on the prices of petroleum products.

Mr. Mason

I have reviewed the level of the temporary surcharge on oil products which was agreed by the Government as being reasonable to meet the additional costs incurred by the oil companies through the dislocation of the pattern of supply last summer.

The leading oil companies have represented to me that substantial additional costs are still being incurred. The Government accept that the surcharge cannot yet be removed but consider that a significant reduction is justified and should be made now. Because of the importance of containing industrial costs the reduction will be concentrated on fuel oil, naphtha and bitumen the surcharge on which will be cut from l¼d. a gallon to ¾d. a gallon as from midnight on Friday, 19th July. The Government will, of course, keep the level of the surcharge under review.