The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers has called for the introduction of an Independent Pump Price Monitoring Body, to check the “chronic opportunistic profiteering in the vehicle fuel supply chain.”
Pump prices have been on average 4 to 6p higher than necessary since the beginning of October, the APPG noted in a statement. This has generated at the very minimum, £600 million extra profit for the fuel supply chain and a VAT bonanza to the Treasury of an added £100mn, it added.
“Drivers need reassurance that they are not paying way over the odds for fuel. In rural communities where public transport is poor and unreliable, people need their vehicles to get from A to B. It is essential that they pay the fairest price. That is where a price monitoring system would support them,” said Kirstene Hair, MP for Angus and Fair Fuel APPG’s Chair.
The APPG has supported a Government ePetition initiated by the lobbying group FairFuelUK demanding a vehicle fuel pricing consumer watchdog, called PumpWatch.
Howard Cox, FairFuelUK founder and secretary to the APPG said, “there is no consistency, logic or clarity to the way pump prices are calculated. It remains a closely guarded secret in the fuel supply chain. If it wasn’t for the welcome supermarkets’ forecourt price cuts, always lead by consumer’s champion ASDA, prices at the pumps would hardly fall at all.”
“If gas, electricity, water and telecoms get price protection bodies, why shouldn’t motorists have one too? We need ‘PumpWatch’ now, to ensure pricing fairness for both consumers and hardworking fuel retailers too. Most of the profiteering is at a wholesale level not by small independent retailers, who also fall victims of the greedy fuel supply chain.”
In a survey of 71,000 road users carried out in September 2018, three out of four respondents said that they believe the big oil companies operate a pump pricing cartel, the group claimed.