Motorists have “a right to know” why fuel prices at UK forecourts continue to rise despite a slump in wholesale costs.
Leading motoring group the RAC has accused fuel retailers of “inexplicably” rising costs after petrol yesterday reached a new record high of 191.2p while diesel stationed at 199p per litre – 0.1p less compared with Saturday but in line with Monday’s levels.
“We can see absolutely no rhyme or reason why average forecourt prices are still going up, given that the wholesale price of both fuels has been falling for weeks,” said the RAC fuel price spokesperson Simon Williams.
“Drivers up and down the country have a right to know why they’re having to pay what they are for fuel when the costs to retailers right now are so much less than they were a few weeks ago.”
Retailers didn’t hesitate to hit back, blaming the surge in prices on the global oil market.
“Global oil prices, while volatile, have soared over the last two years, and are now exacerbated by the war in Ukraine,” British Retail Consortium’s director for food Andrew Opie told City A.M.
“Retailers understand the cost pressures facing motorists and will do everything they can to offer the best value-for-money across petrol and diesel forecourts, particularly if the price of oil falls.”
Despite the retailers’ reassurance, AA head of roads policy Jack Cousens lambasted the increase, saying motorists are “being taken for fools by retailers.”
“With the Prime Minister and the Chancellor talking openly about the prospect of cutting fuel duty further, drivers need hear less talk and see more action,” he said.
Cousens reinforced the AA’s previous calls for an additional 10p cut in duty, which could help “ease the pressure at the pumps” as well as “keep prices in supermarket aisles down.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak told Commons on Tuesday he would consider a “more substantial” fuel duty cut following mounting calls.
Sunak announced a 5p per litre cut to fuel duty in March to help motorists face soaring petrol prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“What I will say to him is of course I will take all his recommendations under advisement,” the Chancellor told Parliament yesterday, answering a question asked by Tory MP Philip Davies.
“I want to reassure him [Davies] that the Energy Secretary is in dialogue with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to make sure that fuel duty cut is being passed on as well.”
The inquiry was launched earlier this month at the request of business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng – amid reports the Chancellor’s 5p fuel duty cut was not being passed on to consumers.