"The real independent and not for profit voice in Westminster for 37m UK drivers, who want clean air too, but want this accomplished without being continually treated as easy cash cows."

Reasons why the Government must create an Independent Pricing Watchdog called PumpWatch

The Westminster APPG for Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers is supporting 37m UK Drivers and calls for the introduction of an Independent Pump Price Monitoring Body. 

Notionally calling this proposed consumer watchdog 'PumpWatch', the APPG are supporting a Government ePetition initiated by FairFuelUK launched in the week of 17th December, to that effect.

In October 2018 alone, nearly £500,000,000 was held back from consumers at the pumps despite the fall of wholesale fuel prices.

The perpetual fleecing of 37m UK drivers goes unchecked by a Government afraid to take on the oil companies and forego the extra VAT generated because of high pump prices.

We already pay £50bn a year in tax on our motorbikes, cars, vans and trucks. VED, fuel duty, VAT on duty, insurance tax, VAT on repairs, parts, benefit in kind on company cars etc. That’s nearly 7p in tax for every mile travelled. And yet the greedy unchecked oil speculators, wholesalers and oil companies fleece us and the economy even more. It is way past time that the Treasury and the Government checked this chronic opportunistic profiteering in the fuel supply chain.

Over 95% of FairFuelUK’s 1.7m supporters want such an independent body created, like consumer watchdogs Ofgem, Ofcom and Ofwat, to protect UK’s 37m drivers every time they fill up, as and when oil prices vary.

“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 their blackmail too, in the prices they are forced to pay, with their wholesalers 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 good deal of scrutiny."

"We are working extremely hard to cost and plan the mechanics for the introduction of a PumpWatch Voluntary Pump Pricing Code to present to the Treasury. Details will be presented as agreed to the Exchequer Secretary before the end of June.  It is vital that this new PumpWatch voluntary code is endorsed and supported by the Government, with petrol, diesel and autogas wholesale prices movements published daily.”

In 7 weeks between October 3rd to November 30th, the wholesale price of diesel fell by 9.0%, yet pump prices hardly fell at all. Just 0.5%. During the same period when wholesale petrol prices fell 11.2%, pump prices dropped only 5.1%.

From the beginning of October to end of November, the oil price fell 31% in Sterling from £66 to £45 per barrel. (Note figures in Sterling to nullify $ currency effect) - BUT during the same period, retail profits per litre rocketed (see graph below) by 97.4% to 14.5 p per litre for petrol and 240% to 15.65p for diesel.

It’s clear that if it were not for the big 4 supermarkets’ price cuts, always lead by Asda, pump prices would be considerably higher.

On November 23rd, 2018, oil hit £45 per barrel. In the last 2 years, when oil correspondingly hit this price level on 31 different occasions, pump prices at these same market oil price, varied from £1.35 to £1.19 for diesel and £1.26 to £1.16 for petrol. That’s a variance of for diesel of 16p and petrol 10p per litre. How can the price of fuel differ so much when oil is at precisely the same cost per barrel?

In a survey of 71,000 road users carried out in September 2018, 3 out of 4 respondents said that they believe the big Oil Companies operate a pump pricing cartel

MP for Angus and the Fair Fuel APPG’s Chair, Kirstene Hair said:

“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.” 

Quentin Willson, TV Motoring Journalist and partner in FairFuelUK said:

"Just when drivers need all the help they can get, petrol prices are being kept artificially high. The fuel industry has a moral duty to pass these savings on to consumers. PumpWatch would make that happen."

Long-time motorists’ and FairFuelUK supporter, MP Robert Halfon, Vice Chair of the Fair Fuel APPG said:

“PumpWatch is the only way to ensure that Motorists are not taken for a ride by greedy oil companies. It will bring the rocketing fuel rocketing prices back to earth. Drivers need a fair deal.”