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CMA to investigate fuel pricing

The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has asked the UK’s competition watchdog to urgently review petrol station operators, amid concerns that retailers have not passed on the recent cut to fuel duty.

The competition watchdog has stepped in after the government called for an ‘urgent’ investigation into petrol station pricing after a week of pain at the pumps.

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, urged the move over concerns that petrol and diesel prices are higher than they should be after the 5p fuel duty cut in the Budget.

The CMA says it will undertake a ‘short and focused review’ of fuel prices, as Andrea Coscelli, its chief executive said record pump prices are ‘causing significant concern’ for millions of people.

Meanwhile, both the RAC and AA have called for another fuel duty cut as early as this week.


Average fuel prices

TLDR: Fuel prices rises hits new record levels

The average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts rose by 7p last week, according to data firm Experian Catalist, hitting a new record of 183.2p on Thursday. That pushed the cost of filling a typical car over the £100 mark.

Petrol retailers have blamed surging wholesale prices, saying oil refineries had not passed on a fall in the price of crude oil since the highs during the early days of the war in Ukraine.

Jack Cousens, the AA’s head of roads policy, welcomed Kwarteng’s move but called for “more urgent action”.

“Longer term, the CMA should consider extending the pump price transparency available in Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK. The Consumer Council’s fuel price checker stimulates competition and has led to drivers there enjoying the lowest fuel prices in the UK,” Cousens said.


calls for urgent action

TLDR: Calls to cut VAT or look at introducing Essential Users rebate

The rapid rise in the cost of petrol and diesel has led to fresh calls for further tax cuts, including potentially a VAT cut tackling the double taxation, whereby VAT is charged on top of fuel duty.

Meanwhile, Jack Cousens, the AA’s head of roads policy, called for urgent action, saying: ‘To relieve pressure at the pumps we need an immediate 10p cut to fuel duty.’

The RHA is calling again for an essential user rebate for hauliers as diesel prices continue to soar.

The association is asking for a 15p per litre rebate, arguing that the move would “help to control inflation because haulage costs are being passed on to customers”.


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