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Malta News
09/08/2010 - 13:01

UK & USA Today Editoweb 9 August 2010

Motorists are facing higher petrol prices, with the cost of a litre set to top 120p by the end of the month. The warning of a 3% rise came from the Retail Motor Industry Independent Petrol Retailers Association, which blamed the expected increase on currency movements and world oil price increases.



UK & USA Today Editoweb 9 August 2010
Petrol Prices Could Soon Hit Record High
Motorists are facing higher petrol prices, with the cost of a litre set to top 120p by the end of the month. The warning of a 3% rise came from the Retail Motor Industry Independent Petrol Retailers Association, which blamed the expected increase on currency movements and world oil price increases. RMI Petrol, which represents around two-thirds of Britain's 9,000 petrol forecourt sites, said prices could even rise as high as 8% to around 125.9p per litre in the new year, smashing the current record high of 121.61p. This increase would take into account the rise in VAT and the planned hike in fuel duty. RMI Petrol chairman Brian Madderson said: "The rebound in crude oil pricing is disappointing but not entirely unexpected. "It will further increase pressure on independent retailers who are fighting for survival, especially in rural areas, due to the double hit of falling volumes and tighter margins." Mr Madderson said the coalition Government did not cancel Labour's Budget commitment to raising fuel duty by 1p a litre from October 1 and a further 0.76p from January 1, with both having VAT added. "Then we have the coalition's emergency Budget proposal to increase VAT to 20% from January 4, so the outlook remains extremely difficult for motorists and retailers alike," he said. "We could be seeing new record pump prices within six months. "All these trends will add to inflationary pressures in our market and across the economy, threatening higher interest rates in the medium term." The AA said petrol prices were 14p a litre, or £7 a tank, more expensive than they were this time last year.(skynews)

Victim of fatal stab attack named
A man stabbed to death in Co Londonderry has been named. Michael McLaughlin, 24, died at a block of apartments in Castledawson on Sunday night. He was originally from the Toome area. Another man in his 20s was detained by police nearby afterwards, a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman confirmed. The attack happened at about 10pm on the Hillhead Road in the village, just off the main Belfast to Derry road. SDLP Assembly member Patsy McGlone said the killing sent shockwaves through the local community. "This is a quiet small rural town and people in Castledawson are extremely shocked that this murder has taken place in their midst," he said.(press association)

Sir Reg Empey confirms resignation
Outgoing Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has formally confirmed he will step down as the party's figurehead next month. His resignation was already on the cards after a disappointing general election, but party chairman David Campbell said Sir Reg had now officially confirmed his decision to resign on September 22. The announcement means the race for his successor can begin in earnest. Sir Reg took the leadership of the party in 2005 with the intention of challenging the growing power of the Democratic Unionist Party, but a ground-breaking electoral alliance with David Cameron's Conservatives failed to excite voters. The once mighty Ulster Unionist Party ended the recent general election campaign without a single MP. But on Monday Mr Campbell praised Sir Reg's contribution to the party, saying: "His period of leadership of our party has produced the reform and modernisation of our structures which eluded his predecessors, and he has restored financial stability to our organisation and undoubtedly moved the UUP and Northern Ireland closer to mainstream British political life." Sir Reg will continue to carry out the functions of leader until a replacement is elected at a meeting of party members planned for Belfast's Waterfront Hall on September 22. The current favourite to take over from Sir Reg is Fermanagh-South Tyrone Assembly member Tom Elliott. The rural representative is a leading Orange Order member and has already received the backing of a number of senior figures in the party. Mr Elliott is likely to favour closer cooperation with the Democratic Unionists, having been one of the chief architects of the deal to agree a joint unionist candidate in his own constituency in the general election, though the move failed to unseat the sitting Sinn Fein MP.(press associations)

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