Petrol prices hit record high

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The average price of petrol across the UK has hit a record 122.14p a litre, a rise of more than 13 pence in 12 months.

Drivers look set to be battered even further in the New Year with VAT and fuel duty increases on the way meaning that prices could surge past 125p.

The president of the AA, Edmund King, has condemned the government's tax rises which he says will hit poorer families the worst: "It is the lower-income drivers who suffer first and hardest, and that is why the Government should not add further to their misery by increasing both duty and VAT on fuel in the New Year."

Motorists are now spending an astounding £8m a day MORE on fuel than at the same time a year ago and trade associations and consumer groups are calling for action from the government on the fuel price stabiliser that was promised in the Conservative election manifesto.

Director of the RAC Foundation, Professor Stephen Glaister, said: "People will wonder what the government is doing. Nine months after motorists were promised a stabiliser the pain at the pumps goes on and is set to worsen.

"With the huge fluctuations in the price of a barrel of oil seen over recent years, and a 1p change in fuel duty meaning £500 million more or less income for the Treasury, ministers are clearly reluctant to introduce a formula which could see the public finances hit. Which means the UK's 34m drivers continue to suffer instead."