Fuel Campaigners Call for Investigation and Regulator on UK ‘Scam Pump Prices’ | Economic news
A group campaigning for lower fuel prices has called for urgent intervention, saying drivers are being “turned away” as costs continue to hit record highs.
FairFuelUK (FFUK), which has the backing of transport and logistics lobby groups, told Sky News it was clear the Markets and Competition Authority should look at how ‘scammers’ pump prices are calculated after President Biden ordered a similar investigation in the United States. States.
He also called on the government to establish an independent price watch body, saying ‘faceless businesses’ were currently’ stealing more than needed £ 5.9million a day from drivers. “.
“If gas, electricity, water and telecoms benefit from price protection bodies, why shouldn’t motorists have one too?” “, He maintained.
Retailers responded by pointing to a multitude of factors driving the price increase, not just wholesale costs.
FairFuelUK took the floor after the AA released data showing that a 5.6 pence drop in wholesale diesel and unleaded costs last week had yet to be filtered and appeased. record price at the pump.
There have been more and more suggestions in recent weeks of profits from retailers – gas stations that did not reflect the collapse in oil prices at the start of the pandemic.
Automotive organizations have widely said the first foreclosure should have seen prices drop below £ 1 a liter if they were to truly reflect the market.
They argued that margins were protected in an era of low fuel demand.
Prices at the pump have risen steadily this year – hitting record levels in recent weeks – reflecting the rise in Brent crude oil costs above $ 80 per barrel from $ 50 at the end of 2020.
The AA pointed to data from Experian Catalist showing that price increases were slowing, at best, in response to falling wholesale prices.
The latest figures available, covering average pump costs in the UK on Tuesday, showed unleaded at 147.64 pence per liter.
Diesel prices stood at 150.80 pence.
The automotive group’s recent survey showed that 43% of drivers are cutting back on car use due to record prices.
Luke Bosdet, AA spokesperson on fuel prices, said: “The oil resurgence has returned above $ 80 a barrel this week, despite the decision taken yesterday by the United States, the Kingdom United and other countries of liberate oil from strategic reserves in the market, has been a blow to drivers and consumers alike looking for at least some relief from the inflation threatening Christmas spending plans.
“Even so, there has been a sharp drop in wholesale gasoline and diesel prices over the past week and so far the fuel trade has shown little sign of spillover to savings.
“The current highs in gasoline prices stem from wholesale costs exceeding 54 pence per liter in the second week of November.
“Fifteen days later they are down to 49 pence. Consumers and businesses cannot afford retailers withholding potential price cuts of £ 2 to £ 3 a tank.
“Hanging on to see if costs will recover and thus supposedly justify keeping prices high may not be an option for a core part of weekly spending.”
The Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA), representing two-thirds of all UK foreclosures, told Sky News that factors such as fluctuations in oil prices and a weakening of the pound sterling – relative to Brent at the price of dollar – were originally continuous record prices.
Its executive director, Gordon Balmer, said: “In addition, members face significant cost increases as the workforce increases thanks to increases in the national minimum wage, the prospect of increases in national insurance and , in some cases, an almost tripling of electricity. price compared to 2020.
“It should be remembered that retailers are only pulling very low margins on high levels of fuel card transactions and this needs to be taken into account when assessing gross margins.
“We are very convinced that a government regulatory framework for controlling fuel prices is not necessary, as this will reduce future investments in new facilities such as electric vehicle charging points and reduce competition.”
Howard Cox, Founder of FairFuelUK, said: “Even President Biden’s administration suspects that foul play in the fuel supply chain in the United States could drive up the price of gasoline.
“He has now asked the Federal Trade Commission, something akin to our powerless Competition and Markets Authority, to determine whether illegal conduct increases the cost of prices at the pump.
“Much like here in the UK, Americans are seeing rising costs, from prices at the pump to shopping in grocery stores.”
He added: “” More than 95% of FairFuelUK’s 1.7 million supporters want an independent pump pricing body to be created, similar to consumer watchdogs Ofgem, Ofcom and Ofwat, to protect consumers. 37 million UK drivers. “
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was approached for a statement.