HC Deb 02 July 1979 vol 969 cc432-3W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Energy, further to his reply to the hon. Member for East Grinstead (Mr. Johnson Smith) on 14 June, what steps he is proposing to take to reassure holidaymakers that there are adequate supplies of petrol in the tourist regions; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Moore

I am aware of no particular difficulties being experienced by holidaymakers. The English Tourist Board and the regional tourist boards have made special arrangements to deal with inquiries and advise on the supply position. Similar arrangements have been made by the Scottish Tourist Board, the Highlands and Islands Development Board and the Wales Tourist Board. The British Tourist Authority has put in a publicity effort abroad in order to reassure potential overseas visitors.

Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his latest estimate of the percentage reduction in the volume of petrol used for motoring purposes resulting from the price increases over the past three months.

Mr. Gray

The pump price of four star petrol has risen by almost 30 per cent. over the three months to the end of June.

The full demand response will not be immediate however and will depend on movements in prices generally as well as those of petrol.

The real price of petrol has fallen for the past three to four years and the recent increases have only raised the real price to about 13 per cent. above its 1977 level. It is estimated that a substained real price rise of 10 per cent. could lead to a reduction in the volume of petrol used for motoring of up to 2 per cent. below what it otherwise would have been.

Mr. McQuarrie

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if, in view of the practice of certain garages in increasing prices far beyond the approved increase, he will take steps to stabilise the prices of petrol at the pumps.

Mr. Gray

There is no "approved increase "in petrol prices. The Government do not fix pump prices and have no present plans to do so. Prices vary from one garage to the next depending on the source of supply, the location and the volume of throughput.

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