‘Shameful’ Petrol prices branded ‘blatant exploitation’ as drivers fleeced out of £500m

BBC Breakfast compare petrol and diesel prices

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The group’s research shows that pump prices in April were around 14p to 19p higher than “they should be” and more than £500million has been taken out of driver’s pockets in just one month.

Figures from last month show that oil prices fell by 12 percent compared to the previous month, yet at the same time, the average pump prices for petrol increased 1.3p per litre, while wholesale prices are said to have fallen by 6.8p.

Similarly, diesel prices at the pump increased by 5.7p per litre despite the group’s claims that wholesale prices fell by 7.7p.

It comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p per litre reduction in fuel duty in his spring statement, but Sarah Tooze, Consumer Editor at Desperate Seller, told Express.co.uk that the 5p reduction is not mandatory and down to the retailers whether to pass on the saving to drivers – which many have been accused of not doing.

Ms Tooze said: “Major retailers have been accused by some of not passing on these wholesale price savings to their customers. With continuing volatility in wholesale prices, retailers have opted to be cautious and not risk potential losses should prices soar again”.

In a statement released at the end of last month, the Fair Fuel campaign group said: “With oil and wholesale fuel prices falling and the fuel duty cut, the fuel supply chain has held back a total for petrol from drivers approximately 14p per litre in April” and “19p for diesel”.

Howard Cox, Founder of Fair Fuel UK, said: “UK’s shameful Fuel Supply Chain businesses must be held to scrutiny and ordered to pass on oil and wholesale price falls immediately at the pumps.

“Worse still, the Chancellor’s Spring Statement welcome 5p fuel duty cut has not even been seen on any forecourt. The combination of failing to pass on these price drops is blatant profiteering and must be investigated by the Competition and Market Authority”.

He also called on the Chancellor and Transport Minister to implement an independent pump pricing watchdog to stop the “profiteering” by oil companies.

He added: “Each day it is delayed, keeps inflation higher than necessary, prolonging the pain for hard-pressed businesses and motorists. Between March and April, the greedy oil corporations and those faceless wholesalers have fleeced more than £500m out of UK’s 37m drivers’ pockets.

“It’s stomach-turning the Government allows this blatant exploitation and lack of pricing transparency, whilst they sit back in a shed load of extra VAT receipts.”

However, the lobby group claim that the fuel retailers are not the ones making extra profits from the prices but instead says “it is further up the fuel supply chain where the greed is rife”.

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Recently released reports show that oil giants’ profits have soared, including BP which had profits of £4.9billion – nearly double the same period last year.

Shell’s recorded quarterly profits were £7.3billion from just the first three months of the year, nearly triple its profits from the same quarter the year before.

This, along with the crippling economic situation, has caused the public to pile pressure on the Government to implement a windfall tax to help tackle soaring household energy bills.

Mr Cox said: “Shell and BP’s latest grotesque and very opportunistic profits are not going down at all well with drivers or even active transport users. People are struggling to heat their homes and pay to fill their cars. With a family diesel costing more than £100 to fill up, the fuel supply chain big businesses continue to take advantage of global market geopolitical volatility”.

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