Motorists blighted by recent fuel prices rises will be angered that retailers are raising prices over and above oil price changes.
According to campaign group FairerFuelUK, the rising cost of filling up at the pump has outstripped the wholesale cost changes to retailers. The group is accusing retailers of using negative news stories such as the breakdown of the Iran nuclear deal to push up their pump prices in what it calls a “greedy pricing strategy”.
FairerFuelUK goes as far as to say that inflation would currently be lower if it weren’t for these rises. Despite the fact that commodity prices for oil have fallen in recent weeks, retailers have not passed on the savings to motorists. According to the group, prices should, in fact, be 5p lower than they actually are.
Howard Cox, FairFuelUK campaign founder, explains: “In Germany and France, pump prices can fluctuate daily, even hourly. The cost of filling up in these countries accurately reflects oil and wholesale prices.”
Between 28 March and 15 June 2018, wholesale prices rose on average by 5.4p for diesel and 4.5p for petrol. Retailers, however, pushed up prices on average by 9.5p for diesel (a 75% hike above wholesale price increases) and 9.4p for petrol (a 108% hike). The group estimates this would have resulted in £500 million in extra profits for retailers.
Mr Cox adds: “Here in the UK, motorists and businesses are exploited ruthlessly by greedy speculators and the fuel supply chain. The government must protect consumers and the economy from this recurring disingenuous manipulation.”
FairFuelUK is now calling for the creation of a 'PumpWatch’” service to monitor fuel prices to ensure motorists aren’t being left out of pocket. This call is being echoed by MPs angry at the findings.
Kirstene Hair MP agrees that a fuel price monitoring body is needed: “It is unfair that retailers are increasing costs disproportionately for hard-working families, small businesses and the haulage industry.
“The rising costs for businesses will make it more challenging to operate, while household budgets will be squeezed as they pay more in fuel to get to and from work. Families and small businesses need more transparency over what they pay at the pump. We need an independent price monitoring body, this will ensure households and businesses are no longer charged unfairly for fuel.”
Robert Halfon MP adds: "Yet again, motorists face the great fuel price rip-off - greedy oil companies ratcheting up pump prices when the cost of oil goes up, but acting slower than a snail when oil prices go down. It is time oil companies stopped taking motorists for a ride."