Updated May 14th
Whilst the UK is in anguish and economic decline due to the unforeseen COVID19 tragedy, the Government has reacted laudably with various financial means to help businesses, employers, and employees.
Yet the unchecked big oil brands and their fuel supply chain wholesalers have deliberately profiteered during the crisis. The evidence is incriminatory but ignored by the CMA and the Government too. The magnitude of the profiteering is on a scale that commands independent investigation.
Here are the facts:
- In the 3 months between December 2019 to February 2020 average pump prices against average wholesale prices including all taxes, lead to profit for petrol at 11.5p and diesel 12.6p per litre.
- In the period of lockdown, when oil crashed 53% and wholesale petrol fell 21% (diesel -17%), petrol profits rocketed 103% and diesel was up by 76%
During Lockdown, filling up for an average family car cost £7.86 more than necessary because of oil company and wholesale greed.
Small independent garage retailers have been victims too, as the record falls in oil prices were never passed onto them fairly. Many of these SMEs are struggling and destined to go under.
- A major fuel wholesaler NWF Fuels even boasted in a trading report: “Furthermore, the Fuels business and its customers have benefited from a significant fall in oil prices over recent weeks which will make material contribution to profits in the short term.” ….. “Demand for heating oil increased significantly in March and into April combined with a deep, sharp and sustained fall in the oil price that has enhanced margins. Demand from commercial customers has been significantly reduced given lower levels of economic activity during lockdown.”
“Our campaign supporters, including essential workers, nurses, carers, and small businesses are furious that March’s oil price crash has not been honestly reflected in what they pay at the pumps. Petrol should never be more than 96p with diesel 102p max, but average filling-up prices across the UK are nonetheless 10p higher. Each day these unprincipled businesses’ wallets get fatter, it’s gets even more critical that an independent PumpWatch pricing watchdog be in place, to halt this chronic profiteering.”Howard Cox, FairFuelUK’s founder
“The big fuel companies should do their part to lower the cost of living, pass on savings to those who need it most and support the smaller independent forecourts. Boasting about ‘enhanced margins’ in these terrible times is heartless.”Quentin Willson of FairFuelUK
“In this time of national emergency the big companies should step up to the plate. They must help the Government cut the cost of living and pass on quickly the fall in international oil prices to those who rely on this fuel. When coronavirus is over, those who helped the war effort will be judged. Those who profiteered unnecessarily will face harsh consequences.”Robert Halfon MP