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Petrol prices dubbed as ‘pump fiction’

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Petrol and diesel prices are described as ‘pump fiction’ as they don’t reflect the decreasing wholesale prices, a motoring group says.

The wholesale price of petrol is around 5p a litre cheaper than it was at the start of the June peaks.

But according to The AA, petrol continues to creep upwards, recording an average 191.10p per litre on Monday, up from 191.05ppl on Sunday.

Meanwhile diesel drivers paid an average 198.96ppl yesterday, up marginally from the 198.94ppl recorded the previous day. It also fell back from the record high of 199.09ppl on Saturday.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “The pump prices are now more like ‘pump fiction’ as they don’t reflect the general downward trends we have been seeing in wholesale prices. This is now an urgent situation. The Prime Minister has hinted at action, but we need more than hints. Pressure to force price transparency and a cut in duty would be a step in the right direction.”

RAC fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “We strongly hope pump prices have peaked for the time being and will now start to decrease in line with wholesale prices which reduced last week. That, however, is in the hands of retailers.”

But according to campaign group FairFuelUK, it is time to stop blaming all retailers for high pump prices.

It said while there are a few unscrupulous retailers, “the vast majority are being held to ransom by the branded oil businesses and those multiple forecourt owners further up the fuel supply chain”.

Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, said that the Competition and Markets Authority review of the fuel market should show that the majority of the small independent garage owners are making very little profit dispensing fuel, with many even making a loss selling petrol and diesel.

Cox, said: “Small independent retailers are on tight margins and restrictive contracts controlled by ruthless oil companies, refineries, and wholesalers. Stop blaming these struggling small businesses and work with us at FairFuelUK to expose the greedy profiteering further up the fuel supply chain. The CMA must not leave any fuel pricing decision point unexamined, every part of the process must be revealed.”

As well as a thorough review of the fuel market across the supply chain, the campaign group is calling for a fuel duty cut of at least 20ppl and the creation of a pump pricing watchdog called PumpWatch.

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