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Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng writes to fuel giants, reminding them to pass on tax cuts to motorists as diesel price hits record high | News from politics

Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has written to leading petrol dealers “to remind them of their responsibility” to pass on tax cuts to motorists.

The letter, sent to the fuel giants on Tuesday, follows claims some retailers have boosted profits after the fuel tax cut introduced from 5p a liter Chancellor Rishi Sunak in March to help motorists amid the cost of living Crisis.

The RAC has said retailers are making an average profit of 2p a liter more than before the directive was introduced.

It also comes as diesel prices at UK petrol stations hit a new high of 179.9 pence on Monday, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy’s own figures. This was up from 178.4 pa the week before.

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In his letter, Mr Kwarteng said motorists were “rightly frustrated that the Chancellor’s fuel tax cut did not appear to have been visibly or meaningfully translated to petrol station prices”.

“It is also unacceptable that different locations have vastly different prices, even within the same retail chain,” added Mr. Kwarteng.

“The Chancellor and I therefore want to once again underline our expectation and communicate that the members will do everything possible to ensure that motorists are treated fairly nationwide.”

The business secretary said his department officials had recently referred the matter to the Competition and Markets Authority because of “perceived intransigence to date”.

He said the regulator was “monitoring the situation closely.”

“I have been assured that they will not hesitate to use their powers to take action against petrol stations if there is evidence that they are violating competition or consumer laws,” he added.

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Ofgem: “It’s getting tougher”

Earlier, Downing Street put renewed pressure on the fuel giants to pass the tax cuts on to motorists.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The public has a right to expect retailers and others in the supply chain to pass on the fuel tax cut at the forecourt. It’s the biggest cut of any fuel tax rate ever and can mean big savings for families.

“We know a number of retailers – big supermarkets, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s – are passing on the cuts and we will be raising 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 have no doubt that everyone needs to pass these cuts on the forecourt.”

But Gordon Balmer, chief executive of the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent petrol stations, said comparing pump prices to wholesale prices “only gives a partial picture” as “extra costs” including delivery costs are not taken into account.

“Five pence a liter was not a significant cut to ease the burden of rising prices on motorists,” he said.

“While the chancellor was announcing this, oil prices were rising, effectively erasing the cut.

“In addition, sales volumes of gasoline and diesel have still not reached pre-pandemic levels.

“Supermarkets and independent gas station retailers compete fiercely for the lowest margins.”

Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng writes to fuel giants, reminding them to pass on tax cuts to motorists as diesel price hits record high | News from politics

Source link Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng writes to fuel giants, reminding them to pass on tax cuts to motorists as diesel price hits record high | News from politics

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