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Asking for an oil price enquiry

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

FairFuelUK’s campaign team met with Priti Patel, Treasury Minister and Robert Halfon MP, PPS to the Chancellor to talk about the immediate need for a transparent enquiry into why the recent oil price falls have not been passed on to the pumps. FiarFuelUK had already written to Mr Osborne calling for his enquiry and asking how prices are actually calculated when filling up consumer tanks. In particular the UK body wanted assurance that duty would not be increased if oil fell to US$ 75 /bbl. Also, the body reiterated its call to the Minister for a 3p cut in duty in the Autumn Statement and March Budget, following its empirical economic evidence that cutting duty is good for new jobs, increasing GDP and lowering inflation. HM Treasury’s dynamic modelling found that the increased exchequer revenues resulting from the increase in economic activity will pay for approximately half of the initial cost of the government’s action on fuel duty.


The minister was reported to have been extremely supportive of FairFuelUK’s campaign efforts over the last five years and commented constructively that she would carefully consider all requests, with the qualification that a cut in duty was subject to the country’s finances being able to support it. FairFuelUK emphasises again that a fuel duty cut would generate Treasury revenue from the growth taxes the consequential increased income tax, corporation tax and more VAT a duty cut would generate.


Quentin Wilson, Lead Campaigner, FairFuelUK said, ‘I’m hearted that Priti Patel, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, gets the need for lower fuel duty to stimulate UK growth, but the Treasury needs to act on the now proven data that FairFuelUK has always championed. Suspending all those fuel escalators in the last three years has saved consumers and businesses £ 30 billion and uplifted GDP by 0.5%. We now need an investigation into oil price manipulation, forecourt pricing, tax transparency on fuel receipts and a 3p cut in duty. For the government keeping the UK’s road economy affordable for everybody is an urgent priority.’

Howard Cox, FairFuelUK, Founder said, ‘it was hugely encouraging that the new Minister for Fuel Duty was highly supportive of our core campaigning objectives. We are delighted that there may be at last a senior Treasury Minister who will recognise the needs of 32 million tax paying and voting road users. The important component is of course that through her this government do something more than freeze duty in the Autumn Statement and Budget 2015 in the name of common economic sense and cut this punitive levy to maintain the country’s economic momentum. We look forward to seeing what the Minister can deliver. A cut is both economically and politically the best solution for UK Ltd. And hopefully let the nation drop its title as being the highest for fuel duty in the developed world.’

Priti Patel, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said, ‘I thank FairFuelUK for a very constructive meeting on ways to reduce the cost of driving, and I fully recognise the issues they raised. I assured FairFuelUK that this government is committed to supporting households and businesses with the cost of fuel, and has taken a number of actions over this parliament to do so, including scrapping the previous government’s fuel duty escalator, cutting fuel duty by 1p /ltr in March 2011 and freezing it until the end of this parliament. These actions mean that by the end of this parliament, petrol and diesel prices will be nearly 20 p/ltr lower than if we had stuck with the previous government’s fuel duty plans, saving the typical motorist £ 10 each time they fill their tank. FairFuelUK continues to make a significant contribution in parliament, and I look forward to us maintaining an ongoing open dialogue.’

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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