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Fuel costs are nothing short of a national emergency – and the oil bosses are laughing at us

A few weeks ago when petrol and diesel prices hit £1.60 a liter we all felt it was catastrophic.

Now the fuel has hit a new record of around £2 a liter, meaning it costs more than £100 to fill up a family car.

Fuel has hit a new record of around £2 a liter, meaning it costs more than £100 to fill up a family car

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Fuel has hit a new record of around £2 a liter, meaning it costs more than £100 to fill up a family carPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty

This is nothing short of a national disaster.

It’s not just motorists who get crushed. Millions of hard working small businesses across the country will be forced to shut down fairly soon if nothing is done.

A shopkeeper in Harlow told me this weekend his bills are increasing by £12,000 a year on heating and lighting alone.

He also transports his goods, and the skyrocketing price of diesel makes it very likely he’ll have to work from home instead.

Unfortunately, millions of people across the country are having this experience.

I hear from medical patients who can no longer afford the gas for hospital appointments.

And many small businesses are turning down jobs because they are losing money on the cost of fuel to get there.

People are already finding it difficult to properly heat their homes while supporting their families.

Now they will be stuck at home and cannot afford to go out while shops close, turning the UK into a giant ghost nation.

OIL BOSSES ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO LAUGH

The Prime Minister must show the public that he is on their side.

Of course there are international problems that were not foreseeable.

But we can safely predict greedy oil companies swiping profits from motorists’ pockets.

When the international price of oil rises, they push the price up at the pump almost immediately.

But when the wholesale price falls, it takes them weeks to make up any falls.

A week ago diesel was 9p CHEAPER than petrol wholesale.

But at the pump, diesel costs 10p MORE than petrol.

In almost two and a half years, the average price of gasoline has increased by 84 PERCENT and diesel by 80 PERCENT.

The only people who seem to be laughing are the oil bosses.

As a rule, garages are also blackmailed by these greedy fuel suppliers.

Large corporations decide what gas station prices we pay, not individual retailers.

It’s not just motorists who get crushed. Millions of hard working small businesses across the country will be forced to shut down fairly soon if nothing is done.

The independent garages have very restrictive fuel supply contracts and almost all are tied to very tight margins.

The government must take action against the anti-competitive behavior of the private oil companies.

It’s almost as if they have a cartel running to keep prices high for the customer.

Next, they must unveil The Sun’s long-standing plan for a PumpWatch regulator similar to Ofgem’s – an idea first pioneered by FairFuelUK.

PumpWatch would ensure that falling international prices are passed on to motorists as quickly as possible.

It would also ensure that when the government cuts the fuel tax – as it did at 5pm in March – all those savings are passed on to motorists.

It must ensure fair competition and prevent drivers from being ripped off at the cheapest motorway service stations.

The government also needs to build on its fuel tax cuts.

Prices have risen so astronomically that more needs to be done.

Almost half of what we put in our tanks goes to the Treasury – one of the highest in Europe.

The chancellor must at least temporarily lower the fuel tax again significantly – between ten and 20 pence.

Then he has to deal with a reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel as part of the Brexit dividend promised by Boris during the EU referendum campaign.

Campaign group FairFuelUK calculates that because pump prices have risen by an average of 44p a liter over the past 12 months, an EXTRA £3.5 billion in VAT has gone to the Treasury.

This should allow the government to cut fuel taxes significantly. The Prime Minister rightly celebrated as the country came out of lockdown.

But if fuel prices continue to rise we will have a ghost economy and a new lockdown except for the name.

“THE COST IS ALMOST AS HIGH AS CHILDCARE”

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RICHARD and Leanne Gibson are working parents with two cars who are crippled by rising fuel prices.

Richard, 39, manager of the Covid testing site, and Leanne, 35, who works in motor retail, live in Bromsgrove, Worcs with their four children aged 12, 9, 4 and 2.

Richard says: “We have to drive two cars because our jobs dictate that we have to drive at different times of the day. We also need the flexibility to bring our children to and from daycare and school every day.

“These ridiculous gas price hikes are beyond our weekly budget. That’s almost as expensive as childcare.

“Earlier in the week my wife filled up her SUV for 180.9p and it cost £125.

“Then the price of diesel at the same petrol station went up 10p overnight to 190.9p.

“How can they do that? It’s just greed.

“It costs over £250 to fill up our two cars, but apart from work we only need them to take the kids to school. Our older children also belong to clubs and we have to drive them to events during the week.

“We really enjoy family outings on weekends and especially in the summer months. But if we factor in the fuel, we’ll have a hard time affording them.

“We live near Birmingham and visit family in Coventry but now it costs £20 a ride.

“The Chancellor’s 5p fuel cut in March is irrelevant now. Gasoline is now up fivefold and is likely to continue to rise. They have no contact with real families.

“If they really want to help ordinary working families like us, why can’t they cut fuel by a relevant amount or cut VAT temporarily?”

https://www.the-sun.com/news/5530325/cost-fuel-national-emergency-bosses-laughing/ Fuel costs are nothing short of a national emergency – and the oil bosses are laughing at us

DevanCole

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