Michael Armstrong, ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA)The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales – ICAEW, has welcomed the new UAE oil price deregulation policy which aims to support the national economy, lower fuel consumption, protect the environment and preserve national resources.

Michael Armstrong, FCA and ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), said, “Deregulating oil prices should support the national economy in the longer term whilst also helping consolidate government finances. The context – of sustained lower oil prices – means that the UAE has chosen the right period to adjust oil subsidies. As ICAEW’s recent Economic Insight report noted, removing subsidies during a period of subdued global oil prices should mean the inflationary impact will be felt less sharply. The more so as consumer protection is a stated focus of the new fuel price committee.

“However, even though prices should not shift dramatically in the immediate future, the knowledge that households and businesses alike will no longer be isolated from global oil prices through government spending should influence behaviour. Households will start to think about how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels in case of future price hikes. Businesses will start to develop energy use strategies in case of market price rises. This policy should therefore incentivise reduced consumption – and thereby protect the environment and preserve natural resources – going forward.”