Irish petrol stations free to increase petrol and diesel prices as they please, says watchdog
Irish filling stations are free to increase fuel prices individually as there are no legal barriers stopping it, the consumer watchdog has said.
In a statement, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has said if businesses collude to “fix prices, this is cartel behaviour” and the CCPC can then investigate if that’s the case.
But a spokeswoman said there are “no legal barriers” to petrol stations independently increasing prices at petrol pumps.
The statement read: “There are no legal barriers to petrol stations acting independently to increase their prices.
“The CCPC does not have a role in monitoring price increases in the market.
“If businesses collude to fix prices this is cartel behaviour and the CCPC can investigate and refer a case to the DPP for criminal prosecution.”
The statement comes after several TDs have written to the watchdog over claims of price gouging at many stations across the country.
The Taoiseach also said the CCPC was there to investigate such matters.
Speaking in the Dáil, Labour TD Duncan Smith asked Green Party leader Eamon Ryan to admit the oil firms had played the Government “like absolute mugs.”
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said the “so-called” reduction in excise on petrol and diesel has been immediately eroded with prices higher than they were on Tuesday.
The CCPC received 83 complaints about fuel prices in the last week.
In a letter to the Minister of State with responsibility for consumer protection, Robert Troy, the CCPC said it had written to petrol retailers to remind them of their obligations under the law.
The commission said it will continue to undertake “compliance activities” around fuel pricing displays.