Fuel retailers cut prices as cost of crude plummets
Supermarket fuel retailers are to cut forecourt prices following government calls to bring them in line with plummeting oil costs.
Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “I believe it’s called the rocket-and-feather effect. The public have a suspicion that when the price of oil rises, pump prices go up like a rocket. But when the price of oil falls, pump prices drift down like a feather.”
But the motoring groups have accused the government of shifting the blame and not taking the responsibility. They deem, despite a freeze on fuel tax it still accounted for more than 60 percent of the price on forecourts, the highest in all of Europe.
Brian Madderson, president of the Petrol Retailer’s Association affirmed that the treasury’s statement was a “cynical” attempt to cover-up the real profiteers in the industry. He said: “The government should come clean, we have got the highest fuel taxation in Europe. Nine hundred independent forecourts closed last year – retailers are not profiteering, they are struggling to make a living and to raise expectations among the public that they can cut prices further is unrealistic.”
On Thursday afternoon Tesco announced it had dropped the price of petrol and diesel by 1p per litre across 500 of its outlets. Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s are soon to follow suit and make fuel reductions from Friday.
This summer saw the greatest drop in the price of oil, which fell by almost a quarter from $115 to $84 per barrel of crude, triggering the largest fall in retail prices in three years.