FAMILIES who run out of heating oil are having to buy emergency 20-litre drums which cost £1 a litre.
SDLP MLA John Dallat has decsribed the practice of hiking the price of heating oil to the most vulnerable people in society in small quantities as distasteful and scandalous.
He pointed out that if those who run out of oil can get their hands on a drum and fill it onsite and carry it home the price falls to 80p a litre which is still 40% more than the cost of having it delivered to your home in larger quantities.
Mr Dallat told the Times: “Fuel poverty is now one of the most serious issues facing the most vulnerable people in society. In the main these are families with young children and the elderly. 42% of children with families are now experiencing severe fuel poverty while half of those over 60 are in a similar situation.“There is no justification for hiking the price of heating oil to such levels when it is clear that there are no added expenses incurred by the retailer. Can you imagine the outrage there would be if motorists were told the cost of petrol or diesel would be jacked up because it is filled at the pump?
“The appearance of oil drums in forecourts priced at £19.99 for 20 litres cannot be justified and is best described as a rip-off. “