The government has today announced that retailers will be forced to provide up-to-date price information as part of a new scheme to call out rogue supermarkets and stations overcharging drivers at the pump.
This will allow motorists to easily compare fuel prices in real time to choose the best prices – boosting competition and driving down prices.
Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke, Jonathan Gullis, has long-advocated for this as Fair Fuel UK’s champion in parliament, having earlier this year put pressure on the Chancellor to keep the cut to fuel duty, which was announced in March’s budget.
As part of this campaign, Jonathan called for a ‘Pump Watch’ to create a watchdog to ensure that motorists are not exploited any longer – writing a letter co-signed by 29 parliamentary colleagues to Grant Shapps, the now-Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero asking for the monitoring of petrol and diesel prices at the pump.
Quizzing the CEO of Morrisons at the Business and Trade Committee last week, Jonathan said:
“My concern is that the Competition and Markets Authority basically gave a slap on the wrist to the supermarkets over fuel prices. Within two weeks of the Competition and Markets Authority giving a ticking off to the supermarkets, suddenly, by some miracle, we saw average forecourt prices come down by 7p per liter.
It took naming and shaming from the Competition and Markets Authority for, dramatically, 7p to be found overnight from your margins. In that case, why was the 7p not passed on prior to the Competition and Markets Authority making any statement?”
It was recently found that some supermarkets charged drivers 6p more per liter for fuel from 2019 to 2022 – meaning £900m in extra costs across the UK in 2022 alone.
Commenting on the government’s announcement, Jonathan Gullis MP said:
“Today’s Competition and Markets Authority report is absolutely damning on supermarkets and stations shamelessly profiteering whilst the Great British motorist faces rising bills to heat their homes and switch the lights on in the middle of a cost of living crisis, saving every penny they can.
I have been calling for a ‘Pumpwatch’ for a long time, alongside Fair Fuel UK, to stop people being ripped off at the pump and I am very pleased that the government has listened to these calls.
“I have been delighted to work with the Chancellor for a long time on this issue, and thank him for his support and efforts in pushing this through. We must now deliver to give people the better deal they deserve.”