Petrol companies using Ukraine war to push up prices ‘immoral scum’ says Senedd Member
A Plaid Cymru MS has lashed out at petrol companies accusing them of cashing in on a crisis by using the Ukraine war as an excuse to inflate prices.
In a tweet today, Mabon ab Gwynfor MS for Dwyfor Meirionydd has slammed the cost of diesel which is nearly £2 per litre in a rural filling station.
He highlights the fact that there is currently no ban on Russian oil, which only makes up 10% of UK oil imports, concluding that the prices are a result of big petrol companies cashing in.
🛢️There's no ban on Russian oil.
🛢️Russia's not a member of OPEC which basically sets oil price.
🛢️Only 10% of UK oil comes from Russia.
🛢️Yet this is the price of diesel in rural Wales.
🛢️Conclusion: large Petro. companies are cashing in on a crisis.
Immoral Scum.#CashMachine pic.twitter.com/iRlCpiRIM9
— Mabon ap Gwynfor AS 🏴 (@mabonapgwynfor) March 11, 2022
He added: “And just to confirm, petrol stations don’t set their prices. They don’t want to see high pump prices because it damages trade and trust. This is down to oil cartels.”
Welsh motorists are having to pay an average of £1.61 a litre for unleaded, while the RAC says that diesel prices across the UK have reached an average cost of £1.70 a litre.
However, motorists in rural areas are already paying significantly higher costs per litre than those averages, with reports of diesel reaching a £1.98 and petrol at £1.89 at Pont Abraham in West Wales on Friday.
According to the RAC a petition calling on the UK Government to cut VAT and fuel duty has gained momentum since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and oil producers are being accused of profiteering.
The price of fuel can be divided into three sections; the taxes imposed by the Government, the costs of drilling, refining and transporting, and the profit margins for the fuel companies.
For petrol, diesel and bioethanols, the Government gets around 65 per cent of the overall cost through fuel duty and value added tax (VAT).
The fuel duty represents the fixed price of fuel – it stays the same regardless how much overall oil prices fluctuate.
Currently, the Treasury adds 57.95 pence to each litre of fuel through fuel duty, and another 20 per cent through VAT. How much you pay in VAT depends on how much fuel you purchase.
While news of potential Russian energy boycotts in response to the war pushed the price of oil to nearly $140 dollars a barrel last week, the price had settled back to around $120 dollars on 10 March.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Prices at the pumps have been breaking records on a daily basis and to make matters worse the price increases have been seriously steep recently.
“We believe the Chancellor must take immediate action by cutting VAT on fuel to at least 15% to give drivers some instant respite and to protect them from future increases.
“The Chancellor could also temporarily reduce fuel duty, which is currently levied at 58p per litre, reducing this would help both businesses and consumers.”
“Diesel has now topped the landmark average price of £1.70 a litre. It rose nearly 3p a litre on Thursday which means it has gone up by 13p in a week. Petrol is now above £1.61 for the first time ever having increased by 8p a litre in a week.”
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