Having closely followed the February IP week conversations that were taking place around the risk of supply disruption and forecasts on the price of oil, I am not surprised to see the escalating price of fuel driven by the on-going tensions with Iran.
According to This is South Wales, the average price of a litre of petrol on Wednesday last week was 137.34p. Moreover, the AA predicted that the record high price of 137.37p, achieved last May, will soon be passed. The price of petrol rose 1.25p a litre last week alone.
Overall UK drivers are spending £6.81 million extra a day on fuel compared to a year ago, and £24.2 million more a day than they were two years ago.
The trade body for independent petrol stations, RMI Petrol, has joined the debate over the weekend, predicting that petrol could reach 142p per litre and diesel 150p per litre in the next month due to several factors, including: the situation in Iran, uncertainty over the ownership of Coryton refinery and threat of a strike by tanker drivers. The RMI group of 6,000 independent fuel retailers warned that the rise will push up UK inflation levels and potentially cause more damage to the currently unstable UK economy.
RMI have joined the AA in calling for the government to abandon the 3p increase in fuel duty, planned for August. They AA are also asking that the government remove the annual RPI increase in fuel duties.
This all comes ahead of National Fair Fuel Day tomorrow, where FairFuelUK will conduct a “Mass Lobby” directed at MPs to help convince the Government to cut Fuel Duty. The campaign group intends to deliver a report to 10 Downing Street tomorrow, claiming that a 2.5p-a-litre fuel duty cut would create 180,000 jobs. Alongside the report is a petition with over 130,000 signatures in support of the Fair Fuel UK Campaign which have already been handed in at No 10. Another 40,000 have been collected since then.
All of the above puts more pressure on Chancellor George Osborne to reduce the tax burden on drivers in his Budget later this month.