Petrol prices: Howard Cox calls for cuts to fuel duty
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While prices at the pumps hit record highs last year, oil and gas giants Shell and BP saw their profits sky-rocket, raking in £10.2billion in revenue and £5.5billion in combined profits in just three months between July and September.
That’s despite Shell and BP both paying negative tax in the UK on some North Sea operations.
In the tax year 2019-20 Shell received £110 million of public money in tax repayments from HMRC while BP received £39million.
Over the last five years the two firms have received almost £660million in tax credit handouts.
BP’s Chief executive Bernard Looney said: “When the market is strong, when oil prices are strong and when gas prices are strong, this is literally a cash machine.”
The handouts are possible due to a tax policy brought in soon after the Paris climate accord in 2015.
It allows gas companies to claim back taxpayer money in order to help with costs of infrastructure and decommissioning oil rigs.
In that time period, BP has received £490million and Shell £400million.
Those figures are rounded up to the nearest £10million.
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Last year records were broken for both petrol and diesel prices at the forecourts and pumps ran dry as a driver shortage caused panic across the UK.
According to the RAC, the cost of petrol in October 2021 increased faster than any month on record.
The rising costs of fuel resulted in the average family car becoming £16 per tank more expensive to fill than a year previously.
And motoring bodies were furious with providers for not passing on the savings when the price of oil dropped late in the year.
Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign said: “It will nauseate millions of drivers, fleeced at the pumps by the current unscrupulous fuel supply chain’s unchecked eye watering pump prices, to see Shell and BP rub even more fiscal salt into consumers’ skyrocketing ‘cost of livings’.
“The world’s already highest taxed drivers are being exploited yet again not just by these avaricious oil corporations, but also by our selfish Government that allows this perennial pump pricing rip-off, to continue.
“The Treasury is, of course, relishing the huge windfall VAT receipts generated by Shell and BP’s high pump prices.
“The foul stench of corporate greed lingers stubbornly over hard-pressed motorists still treated relentlessly as the easiest of cash cows by politicos and profit-making concerns.”
Shell and BP’s combined profits between July and September last year were £5.5billion, compared with £750million in the same period a year before.
Robert Halfon MP, Vice Chair of the APPG for Fair Fuel for Motorists and Hauliers said: “Struggling families need a PumpWatch regulator asap.
The rip off oil companies are feeding the cost of living crisis as they refuse to cut prices at the pumps even when the international oil price has fallen.
“If we can’t have an energy price cap, at least have a fair price at the pumps.”
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