§ Mr. Dempsey
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if the maximum retail price of paraffin is likely to be increased shortly.
§ Dr. J. Dickson Mabon
Following the notification by oil companies in September and October to the Price Commission of an increase in the prices of oil products the Government have received proposals from the companies for an increase in38W the maximum retail price of yaraffin. After careful consideration the Government have decided that the increase should be limited to 3½ pence a gallon, and recommended that the wholesale price should rise by 3.25 pence a gallon with an additional 0.25 pence a gallon for the retailer. The rise in the wholesale price is less than the general increase in the wholesale price of other heating oils and much less than the amount requested by some companies. I regret this further increase in price but it is unavoidable to ensure continued availability of supplies.
I am pleased to say that the increase will not apply to Lewis and Harris. The three major oil companies supplying there have now rationalised their delivery charges and the maximum retail price of paraffin in Lewis and Harris will in future be the same as in north-west Scotland.