Angus MP Mike Weir has reacted with anger to the news that the European Commission has raided the offices of major oil companies in an investigation over price fixing allegations on road fuel.
Oil giants including BP and Shell are facing claims they have been fixing prices for more than a decade.
It follows a raid on the offices of BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Norway’s Statoil by European anti-trust regulators on Tuesday.
And now Mr Weir has demanded that, if the allegations are proved, then the companies should be forced to compensate motorists by lowering prices rather than paying fines to either the UK treasury or European Commission.
Mr Weir explained: “Motorists in rural areas such as Angus have suffered high petrol and diesel prices which have seriously impacted on family budgets.
“To hear that it is now alleged that some oil companies may have been engaged in price fixing is truly shocking.
“Even worse this comes after earlier allegations, still under investigation, that major energy companies had fixed the wholesale gas market.
“If these allegations are found to be true then it is simply not good enough that the companies are fined with the money disappearing into the treasury or the coffers of the European Commission.
“The money must be returned to consumers in the form of reduced prices.”
He continued: “The UK already has some of the highest taxes on petrol and diesel and if it turns out the base price has been artificially raised then it is the consumers who have been cheated and they should benefit rather than it, effectively, being treated as another tax take by the treasury or Commission.”
“Indeed this is an excellent chance for the European Commission to show that cross European action can be of huge benefit for the consumers and that they really do care about what affects ordinary consumers throughout the European Union.”