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Greedy Supermarkets given until August to voluntarily back petrol price sharing scheme

By Tom Gibson | July 18, 2023

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Consumer anger has been growing after reports found supermarkets were profiteering to the tune of £900m in 2022

Greedy Supermarkets given until August to voluntarily back petrol price sharing scheme

Energy Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced a belated fightback against supermarkets after the Competition and Markets Authority announced in June that the big four had made an additional £900m at the expense of the British motorist.

Apparently driven by weak competition, supermarkets were able to charge upwards of 6p per litre on fuel to boost their own margins.

They were able to do so after high prices, driven by the war in Ukraine, led to a rise in fuel costs at the start of last year.

When the price of oil began to fall however, supermarket greed took over and saving weren’t passed onto the customer for months, with diesel drivers still awaiting parity in some areas of the UK.

And now, Mr Shapps has asked fuel retailers to voluntarily share live prices by August, in a bid to prevent overcharging and empower consumers to find cheaper alternatives.

Critics are saying Mr Shapps could’ve gone further however by introducing law that means supermarkets have to transparently display their fuel prices.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: "What's badly needed is an official wholesale fuel price monitoring function which has the power to fine or take action against major retailers who don't lower their forecourt prices when wholesale costs drop significantly.

"While the CMA recommended an element of monitoring wholesale prices in its report in UK fuel retailing, the RAC fears without the threat of consequence in the form of fines, the biggest retailers are unlikely to lower their pump prices quickly enough when the wholesale market trends down."

In a statement after Monday’s meeting with supermarket bosses, Grant Shapps said: “Today’s commitment to a more transparent market is a step in the right direction – and I welcome their support for the Competition & Markets Authority’s (CMA) voluntary scheme, which aims to drive down prices and boost competition so customers can find the best deals locally. But I’m warning those who fail to put words into actions and continue to rip off motorists: you will be held to account.”

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