Petrol stations accused of rip-off over duty cut

Motorists across the country have accused petrol stations of profiteering on Wednesday's Budget and the 1p drop in fuel duty that was revealed by the Chancellor for the same day.

Drivers have reported witnessing price rises as soon as the announcement was made and many more have reported no reduction in price at all.
George Osborne has said that he will watch oil companies 'like a hawk' to make sure that they don't pass on the pain from the tax on North Sea oil profits he is imposing – but perhaps he is looking in the wrong direction.

Industry insiders have claimed that the increases were a coincidence, with many retailers having to put their prices up as a result of further increases in oil prices.

AA spokesman Luke Bosdet said: "My view is there may be a few mavericks out there. But I don't think there is evidence that there has been large scale fiddling."

The Daily Mail reports drivers from across the country have witnessed petrol stations trying to profit from the changes in prices.

Martin Ballard of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, said: "I went past my local garage at 1.30pm on Wednesday and diesel was then 136.9.

"Just a bit later they'd put it up to 137.9. Sure enough when the duty cut took effect it was down again to 136.9. We've been scammed."

The Chairman of RMI Petrol, Brian Madderson, representing independent retailers, said that rural motorists will have to wait longer to feel the benefits of the Chancellor's largesse.

He said: "It seems that the chancellor and the Treasury are unaware that 6,000 independent retailers across the country buy their fuel on duty paid basis from the terminal. That means that old stocks off have to sold off before the duty reduction can come into force."

The average price of petrol across the country remains high, with petrol at 133p a litre and diesel at 140p a litre – up 4p and 6p respectively on a month previously.
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