The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said if evidence was found that the 5p fuel tax cut had not been passed on, it would launch an investigation, with fines possible for offending retailers.
It came as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Britain will suffer the lowest growth of any developed country next year as the war in Ukraine fuels inflation.
Growth will plummet from 7.4 percent last year to 3.6 percent this year before stalling completely in 2023, the influential think tank said, urging Rishi Sunak to consider tax cuts to bolster businesses and consumers to help consumers.
Soaring fuel prices were initially triggered by gas supply complications from Covid lockdowns, but escalated following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
The rise in gasoline prices is just one aspect of the financial strain on households, which official government forecasts say will see the largest decline in disposable household income since records began in the 1950s.
Energy bills have more than doubled in a year, tax hikes started last month and inflation is expected to top 9 percent in 2022, eating away at real wages.
The cost-of-living crisis has been identified by Boris Johnson’s advisors as one of the key policy challenges of the coming years, coupled with the risk of a recession later this year.
A £22bn package was recently announced by Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, to help ease the rise in energy prices, but pressure is already building again from PMs to demand more help.
The average pump price hit 182.31p a liter on Wednesday, after rising by more than 2p in just 24 hours earlier in the week, the biggest daily rise in 17 years.
In some places, that meant petrol overtook diesel as the most expensive fuel per liter, although national average diesel prices hit another record high of 188.05p, according to RAC figures.
The latest jump brings the cost of fueling a 55-litre family car to £100.27. A full fill of diesel now costs £103.43.
RAC’s Simon Williams said: “It’s a really dark day today for drivers whose fuel is now crossing the thoroughly depressing 100lbs-a-tank threshold.
“With average prices this high, there will almost certainly be upward inflationary pressures, which is bad news for everyone.”
The 5p fuel tax cut that the Government announced on March 23 when the average liter was costing 177.5p was effectively wiped out in mid-May as prices hit another record high of 178.4p.
Price comparison website PetrolPrices said the most expensive price charged at BP sites on the A1(M) near Sunderland, Tyne and Wear is 202.9p a liter; the A1(M) near Weatherby, West Yorkshire; the M4 near Chippenham, Wiltshire; and the M6 near Burton-in-Kendal, Cumbria.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had the power to launch an investigation into whether the tariff cut had been passed on.
“We know there are differences in this and we want this to be passed on to all service stations. We are not confident that this will happen across the board,” the spokesman said.
“The CMA has said that if they find evidence that the cut is not being passed on, it would mean the competition isn’t working and they could launch a formal investigation. Of course we would wholeheartedly support them.”
The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent service stations, declined to act on the comments when approached by the PA news agency.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/06/09/petrol-prices-soar-cost-filling-tank-over-100-pound/ Cost of filling up average car hits £100 as petrol prices soar