Fuel duty frozen again and good news from Iran but why is diesel still expensive?  

The 2015 summer budget brought some good news for haulage firms in the UK. However, a new ‘Fair Fuel’ campaign is drawing attention to high diesel prices in the UK

Despite speculation that the fuel duty freeze would finally thaw in 2015, Chancellor George Osborne opted to keep fuel taxes low, much to the delight of truckers and haulage companies across the country.

Economists from Capital Economics anticipated that fuel duty would be an easy target for Osborne since it had been kept constant since 2011. A 10% rise, they said, would add 6 pence to a litre of fuel and would raise £2.5bn for the public coffers.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association welcomed the news with a hint of caution.

He said “The PRA has been lobbying Government and the Treasury on the subject of fuel duty, so it is good news to hear the Chancellor’s announcement.”

He went on to suggest that the Chancellor should have cut duty by 2ppl continuing: “while oil prices are expected to stay low, the oil market is notoriously hard to predict so there is always the chance that fuel prices will be considerably higher by the time of the budget in March 2016 and any increase in duty would therefore have a negative effect on the economy.”

Iran deal provides fuel price relief

Some of Mr Madderson’s concerns might have been allayed this week after the international community agreed a ‘landmark’ agreement with Iran over the future of its nuclear programme. News of this deal lead to an immediate drop in wholesale oil prices, a drop which should be passed onto consumers at the pumps sometime soon.

Are diesel prices too high?

At Westminster, dozens of MPs from across the party spectrum have signed their names to FairFuelUK’s campaign for an investigation into fuel pricing at the pumps. Organisers want to force the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate, among other things, why retailers consistently set diesel prices higher than petrol ones, despite the wholesale price of diesel being 6 pence less than petrol.

One particular concern is that this pricing structure unfairly penalises commercial vehicle operators such as ‘white van men’ and hauliers who rely on diesel to work.

Howard Cox co-founder of FFUK said: “The RAC Foundation’s latest figures clearly show that diesel drivers have been ripped off by more than a £0.25bn in the last six weeks at the pumps.

“This is brazen and unscrupulous profiteering by retailers exploiting 12 million motorists, white van drivers and the haulage industry.”

If you are a haulier, visit the FairFuel website and sign the petition to keep fuel prices low.