Intervention comes as pump prices rise sharply
The Energy Secretary Grant Shapps has warned fuel retailers he will “call out any foot-dragging” over the sharing of pump price data.
The comments – made in a letter to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – come as petrol prices have their largest weekly rise in more than a year.
The CMA is planning to launch an interim voluntary system for retailers to publish fuel prices by the end of the month.
Mr Shapps wrote:
“I want to reiterate the Government’s strong support for the CMA’s temporary scheme for major retailers to make their daily prices available in a common, machine-readable format by the end of August.
“I strongly expect retailers to co-operate with the CMA to develop the voluntary scheme to this timeline and I will not hesitate to call out any foot-dragging.
“Please do keep my officials abreast of participation in the voluntary scheme so we can act if necessary.”
Mr Shapps added that the Government “remains committed” to developing a mandatory open data scheme for fuel retailers “as soon as possible”.
In early July the CMA published the results of its market study into the supply of road fuel in the UK which found “problems in relation to three aspects of the retail market: national, local and motorway.”
Data published by the government shows that on Monday the average price of petrol in the UK was 146.2p per litre, up 2.1p on a week earlier. The price of diesel averaged 148.2p per litre, up 2.3p.
Over the past month the price of Brent crude oil has risen from about $74 a barrel to around $85 a barrel.
More than half of what is paid on the forecourts goes to the Treasury in the form of fuel duty and VAT.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“High street retailers might be discounting their prices to lure us back to their shops, but there is no such luck at our service stations as fuel prices rocket just as many families are filling up for their summer holiday getaways.
“We can only hope that fuel companies are still feeling the eyes of ministers and the CMA on them as they calculate how much they really need to charge to cover their costs.”
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
[email protected] | 07711 776448
Notes to editors:
The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.
The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org