Fuel group calls for full inquiry into secretive petrol pricing process as oil continues to decline

Caitlin Morrison
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CAMPAIGN group FairFuel UK warned yesterday that petrol prices were not guaranteed to fall in tandem with the decline in benchmark oil prices.

Brent crude dropped to a four-year low of $82 last week, and Asda, Morrison’s and Tesco all responded with a similar downward adjustment. This follows a call from chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander on those involved with the sale and distribution of oil and petrol to do all they can “to pass on the benefit of falling oil prices as quickly as possible”. Meanwhile, the RAC has been speculating for the past few weeks that the price of petrol could fall as low as £1 per litre.

However, Howard Cox, founder of FairFuel UK, said that there was no guarantee that prices at the pumps would drop so far as they did in 2009 when oil was priced at $60 per barrel.

He said: “Where have these price cuts been hidden? Who was holding them back? Was it purely speculator profiteering? When oil prices change, who is it making the decision to change pump prices by a penny or two? What criteria do they use and why is the process so secretive? In a nutshell, why has it taken bad publicity to reduce prices at the pumps after all this time?”

FairFuel, which is backed by the RAC, urges a reduction in fuel duties and this weekend called on chancellor George Osborne to instigate a “full independent transparent inquiry in oil speculation and vehicle road user pricing”.

Cox commented: “It’s now time to expose this secretive pricing process for the good of the economy and 32m motorists.”

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