Britain orders fuel market overhaul as pump prices rise

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog has been asked by the government to review the retail fuel market to see if a tax cut has been passed on to consumers as prices at the pump hit all-time highs.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Sunday that the investigation would reveal why fuel prices have always risen quickly but fallen slowly.

Oil prices have risen globally, driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the reopening of economies after the pandemic.

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Britain cut fuel taxes by 5 pence per liter for a year in March in a £5 billion ($6.2 billion) package to ease the burden on motorists amid a worsening cost of living for households.

However, prices have continued to rise and the average cost of filling a family car soared above £100 for the first time last week, according to data firm Experian Catalist.

“The British people are rightly frustrated that the £5bn package does not always seem to have passed through to forecourt prices and that prices in some cities remain higher than comparable nearby towns,” Kwarteng said in a letter to the Competition. and Markets Authority (CMA).

He said the assessment should take into account the health of competition in the market, regional factors, including local competition, and any further steps the government or the CMA might take to strengthen competition.

He requested an initial report for July 7.

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Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by Louise Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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