Greenock and Inverclyde MSP, Stuart McMillan, is seeking a joined-up approach from supermarkets, fuel companies and the UK Government to deliver cheaper fuel for drivers in the lead up to Christmas.
Due to there not being a set price for a litre of petrol or diesel UK-wide, many areas like Inverclyde are being subjected to far higher fuel costs than the rest of Scotland and the UK. When Mr McMillan wrote to the ‘Big 4’ supermarkets with petrol garages – Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons and Sainsburys – and BP last year, they claimed that prices are typically set around local competitors’ prices.
Consequently, Inverclyde drivers have been paying up to 10 pence more per litre of fuel than drivers from other areas have, such as the East coast.
Commenting, Mr McMillan said:
“It’s frustrating that petrol providers do not sell fuel at the same rate across the whole of the UK, as it simply becomes a post code lottery. In Inverclyde’s case, that means we have been paying more than drivers in other areas.
“I appreciate that supermarkets often offer discounts or money-off deals on fuel when customers spend a certain amount in their stores, but this disadvantages those who cannot spend large sums of money at one time on their shop. This is especially true for people who live alone or are on low- or fixed-incomes.
“With Tesco recording an operating profit of £1.83bn in the year leading up to February 2018, and BP and Shell recording global pre-tax profits in 2017 of $7.18bn and $18.13bn respectively, I believe the supermarkets and oil companies should deliver a fuel price cut for consumers this Christmas.
“On top of this, over 60% of the cost per litre of fuel going straight to the HM Treasury in the UK Government. If the Chancellor reduced fuel duty tax then petrol providers could pass on this reduction to drivers at the pump.
“While the cost of unleaded petrol has suddenly dropped by around four pence per litre locally, diesel has still remained high. The gap between what drivers of unleaded and diesel cars has now widened, with diesel drivers paying up to eight pence more per litre.
“Christmas is an expensive time of year, so I hope that the supermarkets, oil companies and the UK Government club together so drivers and local businesses get a welcome Christmas present.”