Petrol Market Working Well, Says The Oft

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WITH petrol poised to rise to £7.40 a gallon, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has intervened to rub salt into the gaping wounds of motorists and millions of working class and middle class shoppers, the victims of ever-rising prices, and announced that the UK petrol market is working well.

The Petrol Retailers’ Association’s Brian Madderson, who last week blamed on speculators the big increase in petrol and diesel prices, that are taking place and are on the way, commented: ‘This is a grave disappointment to independent retailers.

A study of the UK petrol and diesel market by the OFT has said little action is needed and that: ‘The evidence gathered by the OFT suggests that at a national level, competition is working well in the UK road fuel sector.’ !!!!

It found the UK has some of Europe’s cheapest fuel prices before tax.

Denying reality, it added that: ‘There was very little evidence that petrol and diesel prices rise quickly when oil prices go up, but are slow to fall when prices drop.

‘We recognise that there has been widespread mistrust in how this market is operating,’ said OFT chief executive Clive Maxwell.

He added: ‘However, our analysis suggests that competition is working well, and rises in pump prices over the last decade or so have largely been down to increases in tax and the cost of crude oil.’

Brian Madderson from the Petrol Retailers’ Association, which represents independent forecourts and made the original complaint to the OFT, said the findings were ‘a grave disappointment’.

He added: ‘This is the sort of thing that the OFT and the establishment have done many times before.

‘They have failed to take on the big players in the market – the oil companies, the supermarkets – and have left the smaller independent businesses to their fate.’

Madderson understandably wanted to know why wholesale petrol prices had gone up seven pence a litre since Christmas when refineries were saying they had a glut of petrol and demand had been hit by wintry weather.

The OFT investigation into the £32bn sector was launched in September last year. Since September, it has been hearing evidence from trade bodies, government and regulatory organisations, consumer bodies and motoring groups.

It has come up with a complete cover up!

Quentin Willson, spokesman for the pressure group FairFuelUK, said he was shocked by the report.

‘Every motorist and business in Britain instinctively knows that “something’s not right”,’ he said.

‘The OFT appears to have failed to address the key issues of: why diesel is more expensive than unleaded in the UK when this is not the case in Europe, why falls in the oil price take so long to be reflected at the pump, and why there are such variations in price, often from the same branded forecourts, within the same area.’

There is no doubt that road hauliers, motorists and millions of ordinary people will be livid with anger at this bare-faced OFT cover-up.

Many road hauliers are urging that there should be another blockade of the oil refineries to stop the country and bring the government and the big oil companies to account for ruining the lives of millions.

What is required is a general strike, organised by the trade unions, to resolve this crisis, by bringing down the coalition government and bringing in a workers’ government that will nationalise the major oil companies, the major industries and the banks, and put them under workers’ management in a socialist planned economy.

This is the only way out of the crisis.