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Slump in oil prices must be passed on at the pump - Hywel Williams MP

Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams MP has criticised oil companies for failing to pass on savings to customers in light of the recent slump in the value of oil and urged the UK Government to do more to force the companies to act.

Mr Williams also called for an end to the fuel 'postcode lottery' which yesterday saw Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, announce a cut in fuel duty in 17 rural areas throughout the UK - none of them in Wales.

Plaid Cymru has long campaigned for a fuel duty stabiliser to tackle soaring prices at the pump and argued for targeted assistance for rural areas which are at a particular disadvantage.

Mr Williams said:

"Oil prices have fallen by nearly 60 percent since June but customers just aren't experience a similar slump at the pump.

"Plaid Cymru believes that fuel prices must not only fall when the same happens to the value of oil - they must also be consistently lower across rural and urban areas.

"At present, all the evidence points to people living in rural areas having to spend a higher proportion of their income on fuel than their urban counterparts. The same goes for people on lower incomes who are hit particularly hard when prices rise.

"I am deeply disappointed by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury's announcement yesterday which will deliver a reduction in fuel costs for 17 rural areas - none of those in Wales.

"It is interesting to note the geographical locations of these areas too - what a coincidence that a Liberal Democrat Minister would make such offerings to Liberal Democrat seats just four months before a General Election.

"Plaid Cymru wants to see an end to the postcode lottery which punishes those most reliant on their own mode of transport in rural areas. 

"If the UK Government is serious about helping ordinary working people they must pile on the pressure on the oil companies and ensure that customers enjoy a commensurate fall in prices when the value of a barrel drops."