Brits cry foul over fuel prices

2012-05-29 13:38

LONDON, England - British politicians have demanded a probe into the price of fuel, suggesting vehicle owners are being scammed by oil companies and speculators.

The Daily Mail reports that certain British MP's have demanded an inquiry into allegations of price-fixing at the pumps. The AA in the UK reports wholesale fuel prices there have dropped by about 10p/litre over the past two weeks, while the cost of fuel at the pumps has only gone down by about 6p/litre.

It claims drivers there are being short-changed while speculators and oil company executives benefit.


The MP's have called for the British government to, instead, replace its proposed fuel-price increase on vehicle owners with a windfall tax on oil company profits. Conservative MP Robert Halfon also attacked speculators who hoard oil until prices rise instead of releasing it to the market to increase supply and lower prices, the Daily Mail reported.

Halfon said: “In 2011 western governments tried to release oil to cut pump prices but banks bought up at least $1.6-billion worth of barrels of the emergency oil.

"There is evidence that a lot of this is stored in silos rather than coming into the market, keeping prices high," Halfon added.

The petrol price in the UK is currently 136p/litre (around R17.80/litre). Diesel costs 142p/litre (R18.60) but most of that price is government and other taxation.