Furious MPs call for fuel price watchdog to stop oil giants ripping off Brits
3rd January 2019

Pump prices since October have been an average of 4 to 6p higher than necessary. This has generated £600 million extra profit for the fuel supply chain and handing an additional £100 million VAT bonanza to the Treasury.

MPs on the cross-party FairFuel parliamentary campaign group have called on the Government to introduce a new independent ‘PumpWatch’ body to regulate forecourt prices.

They also questioned why consumers were protected with price watchdogs in the gas, electricity, water and telecoms markets but not fuel.

The motorist campaigners want the body to replicate consumer watchdogs like Ofgem, Ofcom and Ofwat.

Analysis of 2018 figures revealed that the average retail profit in the first nine months was 8p per litre for petrol and 8.6p per litre for diesel.

But in the last three months – October to December – profits rocketed to 13.27p per litre and 11p per litre for diesel.

In the same three-month period, the wholesale price of diesel fell by 13 per cent but pump prices dropped by only 3 per cent.

Meanwhile the wholesale price of petrol fell 14 per cent and pump prices dropped by only 7 per cent.

Ex-Tory minister and long-time motorists’ champion Robert Halfon said: “PumpWatch is the only way to ensure that Motorists are not taken for a ride by greedy oil companies.

“It will bring the rocketing fuel rocketing prices back to earth. Drivers need a fair deal.”A petition launched by the all-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and Hauliers has already attracted more than 14,000 signatures in just 10 days.

Motorists already pay £50 billion a year in taxes such as VED, fuel duty, VAT and insurance tax.

But thanks to pressure from The Sun’s Keep it Down campaign fuel duty has been frozen for nine years in a row.

FairFuel UK Founder Howard Cox said: “It is way past time that the Treasury and the Government checked this chronic opportunistic profiteering in the fuel supply chain.”

He added: “There is no consistency, logic or clarity to the way pump prices are calculated. It remains a closely guarded secret in the fuel supply chain. If it wasn’t for the welcome supermarkets’ forecourt price cuts, always lead by consumer’s champion ASDA, prices at the pumps would hardly fall at all.”

“If gas, electricity, water and telecoms get price protection bodies, why shouldn’t motorists have one too? We need ‘PumpWatch’ now, to ensure pricing fairness for both consumers and hardworking fuel retailers too. Most of the profiteering is at wholesale level not by small independent retailers, who also fall victims of the greedy fuel supply chain.”

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