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Petrol hit a new high of 191.05p a litre on Sunday, further fueling the spiralling cost of living crisis leaving millions of Britons worse off each month. Meanwhile, diesel has hit new highs of 199.09p, meaning a 55-litre family car would cost an eye-watering £109.42 to fill up. This marks the biggest jump in fuel prices in 17 years, with the cost of filling a family car exceeding £100 for the first time since records began. Now, however, new data has revealed that where you live might actually impact how affordable fuel is for you and your family.Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Experian, – analysed by energy experts at Boiler Central – calculated the cost of petrol against average weekly wages in each of the UK’s 12 regions.
Drivers in the North East emerged worst-off, set to spend more of their weekly wages on petrol than anywhere else in the UK – despite having the lowest average cost for a full tank at £100.83 – due to lower average wages in the region.
Residents in cities such as Newcastle and Sunderland – with an average weekly wage of £593 – could use up to 17 percent of their weekly wages to fill up a standard car with 55 litres of fuel, the data showed.
Northern Ireland has the second least affordable fuel in the country, with residents paying an average of 16.73 percent of their weekly wages on petrol.
At £101.71 for 55 litres, petrol is slightly more expensive in Northern Ireland than it is in the North East, while Northern Ireland has the second-lowest weekly wages in the UK, at £608, bringing it into the second slot.
This is in comparison to London, coming at the bottom of the list and representing the best value for money in the wage-to-petrol ratio.
Drivers in the capital spend an average of just 11.8 percent of their weekly wages on petrol – this is despite the fact that a 55 litre tank costs more in London than anywhere else in the UK, at £102.32, offset by the average weekly wage of £867, the highest in the country.
The other UK regions listed in the report are East of England, East Midlands, North West, Scotland, South East, South West, Wales, West Midlands, Yorkshire and The Humber.
Nine of these regions spend more than 15 percent of their weekly wages on petrol.
And while these latest figures will prove disconcerting, worse is expected to come for motorists across the nation, with the war in Ukraine driving an escalation that was already underway.
But in recent developments, the Government – which has pledged a package of measures to help the public through the crisis and cut fuel duties – has come under fresh pressure to manage fuel retailers themselves amid accusations of profiteering at the expense of customers.
This week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak pledged further cuts to fuel duty, with claims that prices on the forecourts do not represent falling wholesale prices.
Responding to the claims, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng wrote to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in June regarding drivers “getting a fair deal for fuel across the UK.”
He said: “The British people are rightly frustrated that the £5billion package [that the Government said its fuel duty cuts amounts to] does not always appear to have been passed through to forecourt prices and that in some towns, prices remain higher than in similar, nearby towns.”
The CMA is investigating the matter and is due to report back to the Government on July 7.
In the House of Commons on Tuesday, Conservative MP Philip Davies asked Mr Sunak whether he would consider a “more substantial” fuel duty cut to support motorists.
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The Chancellor responded that he would consider Davies’s recommendations.
He said the existing tax cut was “significant, but we appreciate it is not being felt at the pumps because of the rise in wholesale prices.
“I want to reassure him that the energy secretary is in dialogue with the CMA to make sure that fuel duty cut is being passed on as well.”
Meanwhile, a report in the Daily Mail’s finance branch, This is Money, found that one in three drivers is unsure if they will be able to afford to keep their car on the road in the coming weeks.
A third of drivers said that they may have to take on additional debt in order to be able to fill up their tanks, the report showed.
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