UK fuel prices 25-35p per litre dearer than most other markets, say campaigners

FUEL prices in the UK are on average between 25p and 35p per litre cheaper in most other developed markets, and a campaign group has said the “head in the sand” approach of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak “beggars belief”. FairFuel UK said their findings should convince the Government to introduce an independent consumer watchdog – PumpWatch – as they revealed a December 20 comparison of prices of petrol and diesel in more than 20 global markets. The biggest differences in petrol prices came in Russia, which was 94p per litre cheaper than the UK average pump price of GBP1.45; Turkey, 79p cheaper; and the USA, 72p cheaper.

Diesel prices too were also cheaper in these countries. Compared to the UK’s average of GBP1.49 per litre of diesel, Russia was 96p cheaper, Turkey 83p and the US 77p. The Netherlands was 18p per litre dearer than the UK for petrol, as were Denmark (4p), Greece (3p) and Italy (1p), but none had more expensive diesel than the UK. Should you be as optimistic about the economy as Rishi Sunak?

FairFuelUK said the haulage industry, logistics and distribution businesses who rely on diesel were continuing to be targeted as “easy cash cows” as the UK ignored falls in wholesale fuel prices which were not passed on to drivers. “Even with the one of the highest fuel taxes in the world, pump prices here in the UK should be at least 10p per litre cheaper than they currently are,” said the group. “If prices at the pumps were honest and transparently and open to scrutiny, inflation could fall by as much as 1%.

“No matter what happens the Fuel Duty Tax take will remain at 57.95p per litre, so, the Government will not lose out on fuel tax revenue. Drivers and consumers would spend more too, so VAT and corporation tax would increase as a consequence.” The campaigners have repeated their call for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate what they called “unchecked profiteering” in our fuel supply chain.

As of Christmas Eve, they said the UK’s average respective pump prices for a litre of petrol and diesel were GBP1.45 and GBP1.49; the wholesale prices were GBP1.20 and GBP1.19; and the gross profit figures were 25p and 30p. Wake-up call for Tory Government The group said it would launch a petition in the New Year, calling for UK forecourts to publicly display a PumpWatch mark “that shows they adjust pump filling up costs fairly, transparently, and timely” to accurtely and honestly reflect global oil price changes and dollar-sterling exchange rates.

Qualification for a such a kite mark would be based on regular scrutiny and spot checks. Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, said: “Boris and Rishi’s head in the sand economic management of the fuel supply chain’s unchecked opportunistic profiteering, beggars belief. “The huge amount of VAT being generated by the eye-watering pump prices, is great for the Treasury, but these greedy rip-off prices are crippling low income families, small business and are accelerating the rise in inflation.

“It is in the Prime Minister and Chancellor’s hands to order a CMA enquiry, introduce PumpWatch, stimulate consumer spending and help disillusioned voters.”