Motorists warned of 5p price hike in cost of a litre of fuel
MOTORISTS are facing more misery at the pumps, with warnings of a 5p price hike in the costs of a litre of fuel.
The warning has come from the AA, which blames wholesalers and speculators for the impending rises.
Already, 1p of the rise in wholesale prices has been passed on at many petrol stations – leaving another 4p to come.
Retailers insist they are not to blame, and say they have been "soaking up" increases at a cost to their own profit margins so far, but now the pressure to pass on the bill to drivers is irresistible.
Despite the increase in prices, one local charity's service users will not suffer.
Dial A Ride co-ordinator Midge Curry said: "The fuel prices will not break us. We will make adjustments. We like to replace our vehicles every five years, but we will keep them longer to save money, however their maintenance costs will increase as they age."
The fuel price increase is another blow to the charity after the Government cut fuel duty rebate – costing it £4,000 a year.
Midge added: "Customers currently pay 50p for journeys but we may have to put it up to £1 – but even that won't make much difference as we spend £5,000 a month on fuel.
"Diesel is a by product of petrol and is cheaper to produce than petrol, so why is it more expensive? It should be sold at a representative cost of production.
"The Government should reduce the duty on fuel and force the manufacturers to sell the fuel at a fairer price."
The AA also attacked the fuel industry for failing to pass on all of a 2p fall in diesel wholesale costs in November and December that, with VAT, was worth 2.5p at the pump.
This comes ahead of the publication at the end of the month of the findings by the Office for Fair Trading into whether reductions in the price of crude oil are being passed on to motorists.
In its latest price report, the AA said a rise of 0.75p since the New Year left average prices at 132.71p a litre.
Diesel is marginally cheaper than a month ago, falling by a third of a penny in the third week of December and remaining around 140p per litre throughout Christmas and early January.
But the average of 140.32p a litre, compared to 140.38p in mid-December means a litre of diesel has been on average 8p a litre more expensive than petrol, compared with a 5p difference in the summer, something the AA blames on the drop in wholesale costs not being passed on.
Between late November and early December, the AA said the cost of diesel to retailers fell from around 53p a litre to below 51p, but the average pump price only fell from 141.5p to 140p a litre.
IF the cost of living goes up any more in this country, will we get back to the days when kids will be sent up chimneys again to try and find the extra cash needed simply to put food on the table and fuel in our vehicles?
We are warned this week how the cost of filling up at the pumps is likely to rise again...yes AGAIN!
Meanwhile food in the shops continues to rise, household bills go up...as benefits are cut and wage rises are put on hold for many – or indeed going down.
Has anyone actually taken the time to sit back and look at the long term impact that all this could have?
We are told time and time again that the country’s debt has to be reduced in order that we survive – yes, we can understand that. As any household knows, too much debt leads to misery and possible long term financial hardship. But what is happening now will see less and less people spend, more people facing severe problems and a country with a large percentage of its population on its knees – is that really the answer?
*Have you faced a wage reduction or is the cost of living proving too much. Comment on this below.