RMI Petrol, the trade association representing petrol stations and forecourt operators, has blasted the Department for Transport for issuing “damaging comments” over the price it sells fuel at.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening said retailers should pass on savings to their customers.
She said: “Petrol prices go up instantly when wholesale prices rise, but when there is a reduction it can take weeks for cuts to be transferred to the pumps.
“It is unacceptable for motorists to be penalised in this way and I want fuel retailers and supermarkets to make a commitment to play fair and pass on reductions in full.”
RMI believes the Government is putting the blame on retailers in order to deflect criticism from a 3p fuel duty rise due to be introduced on 1 August.
Brian Madderson, RMI Petrol Chairman said: “It is appalling that the Government has failed to engage with the fuel retailing industry before issuing misleading information for short term political expediency. They are clearly irritated by continuing and justified media and public criticism of their unflinching stance on the planned fuel duty increase this summer.”
The Department for Transport told ELN reports that it was looking at introducing legislation which would force petrol retailers to pass on cuts in wholesale fuel prices to consumers were untrue and that it “very much wanted to work with industry.”