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The Tory MP warned drivers were “not seeing” cheaper fuel prices despite oil costs “dropping considerably” during lockdown. He warned drivers were “being fleeced at the pumps” with increased costs despite the financial uncertainty many road users find themselves in.
Mr Halfron has partnered with leading campaigns FairFuelUK to call for an independent watchdog to monitor price across the UK.
He reveals he has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to demand for fairer prices and end what he describes as “outrageous profiteering”.
Mr Halfron said: “Whilst oil prices have been dropping considerably throughout the pandemic, as we stay at home, the UK’s 37 million drivers are not seeing any cheaper fuel prices.
“Motorists are being fleeced at the pumps – overcharged as much as £10 a tank – at a time of great financial uncertainty.
“It’s the hardworking motorists and their families, like those in my own constituency of Harlow, that depend on their vehicles to earn a living, yet are being hit hardest by the greed of some oil companies and wholesalers.
“That’s why FairFuelUK and I have been campaigning for PumpWatch – a watchdog to monitor the fairness of petrol and diesel prices and cut the cost of living for drivers.
“Together we have written to the Chancellor and the Competition and Markets Authority to put a stop to this outrageous profiteering.”
Mr Halfron is passionate about fuel savings and was a firm supporter against discussions about possibly increasing fuel duty in the March budget.
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Last week, analysis from consumer watchdog Which? revealed average retail margins increased for fuel retailers during the pandemic.
They revealed margins increased from around 10p per litre to nearly 18p per litre in the weke the lockdown was first announced.
In comparison, fuel margins were just 8p per litre in 2019 highlighting the major increase.
The AA have also said pump prices were higher than what was expected as they revealed costs should have dropped to 98.9p per litre.
Throughout the lockdown, FairFuelUK has even claimed costs were over 20p more than they should be as retailers failed to slash costs.
Howard Cox founder of FairFuelUK said: “Everyone knows what we pay at the pumps does not follow any logic or fairness when oil prices change.
“For decades the fuel supply chain, notably a few wholesalers have ripped off drivers at will.
“The smaller independent garages are subject to wholesaler blackmail too, in the prices they are forced to pay, with their suppliers holding them hostage to their bulk supply.
“They consciously hold back wholesale price falls amounting to billions. But these greedy faceless businesses will soon be subject to a good deal of scrutiny.”
But the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has disputed claims that firms have proffered from the crisis.
They have claimed that retailers kept their prices consistent with wholesale costs due to falling demand.
Average fuel prices have started to increase over the past couple of months after costs dramatically fell at the start of the pandemic.
Unleaded petrol prices have increased from 105.17p per litre at the start of June to 112.91p at the start of August,.
Prices rose by 3p per litre in June and then an extra 3p per litre over July as drivers returned to the roads.
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