‘Shock and awe’: Petrol to hit 180p a litre ‘this week’ as ‘national crisis’ continues

Fuel prices: Simon Williams on increasing costs at the pumps

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According to latest AA data, filling a typical 55-litre car tank has gone up from £94.67 to £97.83 for petrol and from £100.49 to £101.76 for diesel. Shockingly, families who set off on their half-term holiday last Friday evening and came home yesterday will have seen the cost of fuel jump by 5.76p a litre in that period.

Holiday drivers who tanked up on the Saturday for a weekend start to the half-term and Jubilee week paid on average 172.12p a litre for petrol and 182.71p for diesel.

If they filled up their cars yesterday for the return to work, fuel prices averaged 177.88p a litre for petrol and 185.01p for diesel, such has been the speed of increases at the pump.

Luke Bosdet, AA fuel price spokesperson, analysed the staggering price rises, saying drivers were being hit the hardest.

“Shock and awe is the only way to describe what has been happening at the pump during the half-term break. 

“Little wonder that nearly half of drivers stayed at home for the Jubilee-extended bank holiday.

“The forces behind the surge have been oil jumping back above $120 (£96) a barrel for the first time since late March, combined with petrol commodity prices being boosted by summer motoring demand. 

“The question now is whether the market will be spooked by US reports of their drivers cutting back on car use? 

“Market reports on the other side of the Atlantic are now talking in terms of ‘demand destruction’.”

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As a result of the petrol and diesel prices, the RAC called for “radical Government intervention” to protect drivers.

Simon Williams, RAC fuel spokesperson, demanded further action even after the fuel duty cut was implemented in March.

He said: “A litre of unleaded is now a frightening 177.88p while diesel is 185p, an increase of 2p already this month.

“With oil now above 120 US dollars a barrel and sterling still at 1.2 US dollars, worse is still to come.

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“Sadly, we expect to see the average price of petrol break through the 180p mark this week, with diesel moving further towards 190p.

“More radical Government intervention is urgently needed, whether that’s in the form of a further reduction in fuel duty or a VAT cut.

“As it is, drivers surely won’t be able to cope unless something is done to help.

“This is fast becoming a national crisis for the country’s 32 million car drivers as well as countless businesses.”

Last month, MPs dismissed calls to lower fuel prices despite the ongoing cost of living crisis.

More than 102,000 drivers signed a petition calling on the Government to implement a 40 percent cut in fuel duty and VAT rates in response to the record costs.

The Petitions Committee heard that drivers were making difficult sacrifices to be able to afford fuel as the spiralling cost of living crisis spirals.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Helen Whateley, said that cutting VAT costs would not help businesses, who already benefit from claiming back their expenses.

She outlined that the Government could not control global oil prices, referencing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and thus could not alter fuel prices.

The MP for Faversham and Mid Kent said the fuel duty reduction between 2022 and 2023 was worth around £2.4billion.

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