Oil prices soar as Chancellor and oil companies reap the profits: Ruffley challenges BP

Friday, 29 October, 2004

Oil prices have hit a new in with drivers now paying on average £4 a gallon for their petrol. New figures also show that the big oil companies are making profits at the astonishing rate of £1 million an hour.

David Ruffley MP, today also attacked the Chancellor over the extraordinarily high fuel tax that rural drivers in Suffolk pay.

David Ruffley said:

'Oil company profits may be rising and the Chancellor himself receives £3 out of every £4 we spend at the pumps. This is the highest level across Europe.

'This is further devastating news for rural drivers. Government taxation on petrol shows a complete disregard for rural people. For my constituents living in rural areas the car is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

'I have today written to the Chairman of BP to ask for his views on the current situation. Oil prices are clearly out of control and ordinary drivers and business people are suffering as a result. And the higher the prices, the more tax Gordon Brown rakes in from rural motorists.'

Notes to editors:

A full copy of David Ruffley's letter to the Chairman of BP is attached below.

28th October 2004

Mr Peter Sutherland

Non-Executive Chairman

1 St James Square



I am writing to ask for your views on the current level of oil prices and the subsequent effect this is having on the price of petrol for my constituents.

I am particularly interested in your opinion on the level of profit being made by BP in this sector and also any constraints you feel are put in place by Government that restricts your ability to reduce prices paid by your customers.

I would be extremely grateful for your thoughts on these and other issues you feel are of relevance on this subject.

With kind regards,