Chancellor will watch oil companies 'like a hawk'

Chancellor George Osborne has said that he is committed to making sure that his 'fair fuel stabiliser' initiative announced to MPs Wednesday will pass on savings to motorists.

Osborne says he will watch oil companies 'like a hawk' to make sure that his tax on North Sea oil profits intended to ease forecourt petrol prices will not just be passed back on to consumers.

He said: "We will be watching like a hawk, believe you me. We will make sure the cut is passed on. Petrol retailers will I am sure do what they need to and we will be watching them closely."

Making his comments to Sky News, the Chancellor seemed exasperated by the reaction to his Budget announcement: "I think everyone's getting in a bit of a lather about this."

He was forced in his speech to the House of Commons on Wednesday to revise his growth expectations for the UK economy downwards and blamed high inflation on ever-rising oil prices.

He made surprise announcements on changes to fuel duty at the end of his statement, which have been broadly welcomed by consumer and industry groups.
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