Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Fuel giants urged to pass on tax savings as diesel price hits record high

Fuel giants are under fresh pressure from Downing Street to pass on tax cuts to motorists as diesel prices hit a new high (PA)
Fuel giants are under fresh pressure from Downing Street to pass on tax cuts to motorists as diesel prices hit a new high (PA)

Fuel giants are under fresh pressure from Downing Street to pass on tax cuts to motorists as diesel prices hit a new high.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has written to the industry “to remind them of their responsibilities” following claims retailers hiked profits following the 5p per litre fuel duty cut.

Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show the average price of a litre of diesel at UK forecourts was 179.7p on Monday.

That was up from 178.4p a week earlier.

The average price of petrol on Monday was 165.1p per litre.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

That was narrowly below the record of 165.4p set on March 21, based on the Government’s figures.

Separate fuel price statistics by data firm Experian Catalist using a different methodology show average prices on Monday were 180.3p per litre for diesel and 166.8p per litre for petrol.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak implemented a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty on March 23 to help cash-strapped motorists.

But the RAC said retailers are taking an average profit of 2p per litre more than before the policy was introduced.

The firm’s analysis showed the average margin for a litre of petrol and diesel is currently 11p and 8p respectively.

In the month up to the duty cut it was 9p for petrol and 6p for diesel.

In his letter, Mr Kwarteng said the British people are “rightly expressing concern about the pace of the increase in prices at the forecourt”, and are “rightly frustrated that the Chancellor’s fuel duty cut does not appear to have been passed through to forecourt prices in any visible or meaningful way”.

“It is also unacceptable that different locations even within the same retail chain have widely different prices,” he wrote.

“The Chancellor and I therefore want to re-emphasise and communicate again our expectation that members do everything possible to ensure that drivers are getting a fair deal across the country.”

The Business Secretary said that, as a result of “perceived intransigence to date”, his officials recently engaged the Competition and Markets Authority about the issue, and the regulator has been “closely monitoring the situation”.

“I have been reassured that they will not hesitate to use their powers to act against petrol stations if there is evidence that they are infringing competition or consumer law,” he added.

Earlier, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The public rightly expect retailers and others in the supply chain to pass on the fuel duty cut at the forecourts. It’s the biggest cut ever on all fuel duty rates and can mean big savings for families.

“We know that a number of retailers – big supermarkets, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s – are passing on the cuts and we will raise this with other petrol retailers.

“The Business Secretary will be writing to the industry again to remind them of their responsibilities here so they should be in no doubt about the need to make sure that everyone is passing on these cuts on the forecourt.”

Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent forecourts, said comparing pump prices with wholesale prices “only gives a partial picture”.

Once “additional expenses” such as storage and delivery costs are taken into account alongside the “volatility of product prices”, retailers’ margins are “often not enough to cover operating costs”, he added.

“Five pence per litre did not represent a substantial enough cut to ease the burden of rising prices on motorists.

“While the Chancellor was announcing it, oil prices rose and effectively cancelled out the reduction.

“In addition to this, sales volumes of petrol and diesel are still not back to their pre-pandemic levels.

“Supermarkets and independent fuel retailers are competing vigorously with each other on the thinnest of margins.”