Campaigners demand 25p fuel duty cut to ease cost of living

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The fuel price campaign says an immediate cut would ease inflation and slams retailers accused of “blackmail” as costs remain high

Activists have called on the Government to cut fuel taxes by 25p per liter to deal with the cost of living crisis.

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According to FairFuelUK, such a move would bring the UK into line with several other European countries and help motorists while retailers continue to keep prices unfairly high.

The fuel tax was cut by 5p a liter to 52.95p in March, but the campaign group says drivers are still being exploited at the pump. Prices are between 28 and 35 pence higher than at the end of February, although wholesale oil costs have fallen to a similar level of $80 a barrel.

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Gas stations have been accused of keeping prices unreasonably high in recent weeks (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

FairFuelUK claims the Government is “sinking” an extra £10m a day out of VAT on overpriced fuel compared to February and families are paying £15-20 more to fill up. It is argued that another tariff cut could help ease rising inflation.

The latest fuel prices from the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy show that petrol averaged 177.64p per liter on August 8 and diesel 188.49p. That’s 5.1p and 4.5p cheaper than a week earlier, but still 28p and 35p respectively up from February.

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Howard Cox, Founder of FairFuelUK said: “The foul stench of greed for profit is becoming even more overwhelming. Although oil prices have fallen 14% since June 1st, petrol prices remain stubbornly 6-7p higher.

“The Tory government, mired in its selfish, overly protracted leadership contest, is allowing the fuel supply chain to ruthlessly and uncontrollably exploit the UK’s drivers. And Treasury Treasury coffers are also bursting at the seams with a load of additional sales tax.”

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The UK’s temporary fuel tax cut is among the smallest in Europe. According to research by the RAC, Germany has reduced taxes on petrol by 25p and 17p on diesel per liter, while Italy has cut tariffs on both fuels by 21p and several other countries have made double-digit cuts.

The latest figures from FairFuelUK show that on 1 August petrol was 35p cheaper and diesel 32p cheaper in Germany and fuel was 25p and 37p cheaper in Italy respectively.

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An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority found retailers had passed on March’s tariff cut but said there was “reason for concern” about a growing gap in refining costs, which is pushing up prices at the pump.

It found that the rise in the price of crude oil when it enters refineries to the wholesale price when it leaves them as petrol or diesel had risen from 10p a liter to nearly 35p a liter in the past 12 months.

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