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OFT fuel price review is too little, too late

So, yesterday the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced it will be looking into whether falls in the price of crude oil are being passed on to motorists at the pump – our educated guess is they’re not!

We all remember back in April when we were queuing up at petrol stations, watching people fill up jerry cans on (bad) government advice and the resulting fallout of record high fuel prices at 142.5p per litre of petrol, so surely this OFT review is a good thing, right? Well, not entirely.

Yes, we are pleased with the decision – anything that could reduce the overall price of fuel is welcome – but the price of petrol has increased by 38 per cent over the last five years and yet this review won’t cover any aspect of fuel tax which actually makes up over 60 per cent of the final price of fuel.

Let’s also not forget George Osborne is set to bring in the deferred 3p per litre increase in fuel tax on 1 January (conveniently before the results of the price review are published), increasing the prices we pay for fuel even more and unfortunately rendering the results of the review as useful as a chocolate teapot!

The Fuelcard Company’s Marketing Director, Jakes de Kock, said: “Through fuel cards, our customers have access to wholesale fuel prices and yet fuel still accounts for up to 30 per cent of a fleet’s total operating cost. With pump prices continuing to rise, the transport sector will surely crumble if support is not provided.

“Campaigners, such as FairFuelUK, have worked tirelessly to lobby to reduce fuel duty and, while all support in reducing the overall price of fuel is welcome, perhaps this review is really distracting us from the bigger issue of how the Government should be helping the transport sector through reduced taxation.”

So please, Office of Fair Trading, see the bigger picture and if you really want to make things fairer for everyone, look at the extremely unfair and extortionate rates of fuel tax!


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