‘Sickening’: Drivers falling victim to petrol and diesel prices in ‘rip-off scandal’

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement came with a five pence cut to fuel duty in the hope that it would ease pressure on drivers around the country. Despite this, FairFuelUK have said profiteering is continuing with some forecourts around the UK not yet lowering their petrol and diesel prices.

In March, the wholesale price of petrol increased by four percent, yet pump prices went up by nine percent.

FairFuelUK claimed that wholesale profit in pence per litre climbed by 69 percent.

Diesel fared worse with an eight percent rise in wholesale price due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which saw pump prices for diesel rise by 16 percent.

The FairFuelUK campaign said: “It should be carefully noted, the huge profits are being made by fuel wholesalers and oil companies, not the small independent garage owners, who are seemingly being held to ransom by the faceless fuel supply chain businesses.

“Over 300 drivers told FairFuelUK they witnessed pump prices being hiked in the 48 hours leading up to the Spring Statement. 

“The fuel supply chain was given more than a week’s notice that the Chancellor was to cut fuel duty by 5p on Wednesday, March 23.

“So, they had ample time to manipulate prices in their favour to absorb the significant fuel duty cut.

“A sickening PR misjudgment by the Treasury.”

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The latest data from RAC Fuel Watch shows that a litre of unleaded petrol costs 163.52p while diesel drivers are forking out an average price of 177.47p per litre.

While the RAC does say these prices “should fall”, it is still almost 40p more expensive per litre than it was this time last year.

The Chancellor’s announcement was the first fuel duty cut in more than a decade after prices reached all-time record prices.

Petrol stations across the country saw near constant increases for five straight weeks in January, February and March.

Howard Cox, Founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign, called on the Government to take further action to help drivers.

He said: “The perennial pump pricing rip-off scandal that FairFuelUK has been campaigning against for the last decade, rears its ugly greedy face yet again.

“PumpWatch is now even more crucial to the nation’s positive economic growth, jobs, business investment, logistics, consumer spending and social mobility.

“This beleaguered Conservative Government needs it in place now, to help regain trust again and to avoid long-term voter repercussions. 

“It’s time for you to throw away the anti-motorist plans and recognise the common sense in giving drivers a well-deserved break. 

“It may just be decisive in the May local elections.”

Craig Mackinlay MP, Chair of the APPG for Fair Fuel for Motorists and Hauliers, also called for PumpWatch, saying it was needed now especially with rising household bills.

He said: “This is bad for the economy, bad for inflation, bad for business and bad for jobs.

“That’s why we need to introduce an independent pump pricing watchdog.”

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