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Supermarket forecourts enter the phoney war

Ladies and gentlemen please, I have a shocking announcement that may upset or disturb many of you. If any of you have a history of heart problems I suggest you stop reading, or at least have a defibrillator nearby in case this proves too much for the old ticker to handle: we are being ripped off at the petrol pumps.

Give yourself a minute to allow this revelation to sink in, and then consider the penny that supermarkets shaved off their fuel costs this week. 30 seconds of fast maths has revealed that this translates to a staggering saving of 0.7 percent; not exactly the swathes of price cuts and guerrilla forecourt combat that you would expect after a fuel price WAR was declared.

If that isn’t enough to make you reach for your pitchfork, then let me remind you that the price of crude oil recently dropped back under $100 a barrel (bargain, I hear you say…) as a result of the downgrading of the US economy. This translates to wholesale prices cleanly dropping 3p a litre. The forecourts have effectively written themselves a cheque for 2p per litre of fuel bought in the UK, of course that is on top of the already astronomical price of fuel.

They say there are no real winners in war, but if I was charging customers extortionate prices for something that they have to use every day, with no viable alternatives visible on the horizon, I’d probably light myself a cigar, put my feet up and declare total victory.


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