Boris pledges to cut petrol prices as the cost of filling the tank soars | Politics | New
Fuel prices: The cost of filling an average family car reaches £100
The Prime Minister insisted he was ‘1,000 per cent’ focused on tackling the cost of living crisis and acknowledged drivers wanted him to give them extra help.
The cost to refuel an average family car has now topped £100
Petrol prices averaged 191.1p per liter while diesel hovers around 198.9p per litre. Soaring costs mean a typical 55-litre family car now costs £105.11 to fill up with petrol.
Mr Johnson promised to make life easier for families struggling with rising prices.
He said: “At times like this there will of course be criticism from political leaders, and it is our job to humbly accept that criticism.
“The lesson that I think people like me need to learn from what’s happening – the inflationary pressures that we’re seeing around the world – (is) number one, we need to help people cope with the current pressures.
“At the pump, people think ‘this government could do more to help with the cost of fuel.’
Mr Johnson continued: “There is a huge agenda for this country, we need to reform our energy supplies, we need to make energy cheaper for consumers.
“We need to reform the way our housing system works, to make the prospect of home ownership realistic for the millions and millions of young people who don’t have that choice. Frankly, we need to reform the way some of our transport systems work, there are all sorts of things we’re currently engaged in that will lower the cost of living for people – not just immediately, but in the long run.
Tory MPs want Mr Johnson to take major steps to cut petrol prices, calling for VAT to be halved to 10% or even reduced to zero for up to 12 months.
And the AA has warned that ‘crippling’ pump prices could hit summer breaks for people planning to avoid airport chaos by staying in the UK.
President Edmund King has called for urgent action on price transparency and a further reduction in fuel taxes to ease the “pain at the pump”.
He said: “The government must take urgent action on price transparency and reduce duty levels.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak cut fuel taxes by 5p per liter in March, but the move was quickly swallowed up by soaring prices.
Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association
The RAC accused fuel retailers of a “classic example of rocket and feather prices” – when prices at the pump rise rapidly when the cost of oil rises, but are slow to fall when oil prices fall.
Petrol spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘We struggle to see how retailers can justify continuing to raise their unleaded prices as the wholesale cost of petrol has fallen significantly. This is, unfortunately, a classic example of ‘rocket and feather’ pricing, and which the Competition and Markets Authority will no doubt be looking very closely at.
“Even the price of wholesale diesel, which had been on an upward trajectory due to the abandonment of Russian imports, has cooled. This could still prevent its average price from hitting the £2 per liter mark.
“The only explanation for retailers’ resistance to lowering prices is that they are protecting their profits in the event of a sudden increase in wholesale prices.
“At the end of the day, the longer they last, the more they profit and the more misery continues for drivers struggling with the high prices.”
Downing Street last night reiterated the Prime Minister’s hint at more help for motorists, saying they were keeping ‘assistance under review’.
But officials gave no details on the next steps. A No 10 spokesperson added: ‘I would just like to highlight the help we have provided as the Chancellor not so long ago offered a big support package for eight million households giving them 1 £200 more to help them with things like food prices and the cost of petrol.
“This is in addition to the 5p cut in fuel tax, and you will know that support will start to be provided from July, as well as the National Insurance (threshold) increase which will also put more money in people’s pockets.”
Commentary by Howard Cox of Fair Fuel
Let’s get to the truth about pump prices. The Tory by-election defeats in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton certainly highlight the anger that has boiled over outside Westminster over the lack of action on the cost of living crisis.
I speak on behalf of millions of heavily taxed drivers, helping to freeze fuel taxes for a decade, even persuading MPs to pressure the Chancellor into delivering this record 5p fuel tax cut in March.
Yet we still bear the crushing cost of filling up at the pump, all because of the government’s economic sluggishness and government continuing to ignore runaway profiteering in the fuel supply chain.
It’s great news and largely thanks to our lobbying that the government has finally asked the Competition and Markets Authority to look into why the March 5p cut hasn’t reached drivers. But it doesn’t have to end like a similar official fuel supply chain investigation that I helped commission in 2013. It turned out to be a whitewash.
The CMA’s predecessor, the Office of Fair Trading, said: ‘The evidence gathered suggests that at national level competition is working well in the UK road fuels industry.’
It was absolute rubbish. It is essential that the 2022 survey asks the right questions of everyone involved in the cost of fueling, not just retailers. I await my invitation to testify.
Most retailers are held hostage by oil companies and forecourt owners. If they do their job, the AMC will show that most independent garages make very small profits and even losses.
One told me: ‘I make £750 from selling fuel every week, but it costs me £850 to employ staff in my little shop.’
Another retailer told me he had only earned £1,066 on fuel, before card charges, and added: ‘Yes we earn from the store – if we didn’t we would be in bankruptcy !”
So a message to for-profit auto associations, retailers are on tight margins and restrictive contracts controlled by ruthless oil companies, refineries and wholesalers.
Stop blaming them and work with FairFuelUK to expose the racketeering.
In March, for example, oil prices fell 40%, but over the same four-week period average forecourt gasoline prices rose 4% and diesel 9%.
The AMC needs to get to the bottom of the pump pricing process and produce evidence that future prices will be transparent and honest as world oil prices fluctuate. They must also support a watchdog, such as Ofgem and Ofwat.
But don’t forget that the Treasury is wallowing in additional VAT offloading from the pumps. So they can’t rush to put an end to this windfall.