Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Oil Price Increases.

1.

asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy if he has received applications from oil companies and petrol retailers for price increases; and, if so, (a) the amount of each increase sought and (b) the increased cost per gallon of motor oil entailed by such increases.

Since information in regard to individual applications, or products involved in such applications, must be treated as confidential, in accordance with section 25 of the Prices Act, 1958, it is not possible for me to give the information sought by the Deputy.

Would the Minister agree that a number of price increase applications were submitted to the National Prices Commission by the oil companies generally in recent weeks? Would the Minister confirm that much?

Under the section of the Act, as I understand it, one is precluded from even publicising the existence of an application, but I do not think any great harm would be done by my telling the Deputy that within the last two days two applications were received.

Can the Minister say how long the National Prices Commission will take to process those applications?

I have no idea.

Will it be a matter of weeks?

I have no idea.

Is the Minister aware that in relation to previous applications they were dealt with practically overnight when it was required by him that they should be so dealt with?

That is not so.