He claims oil companies can do little to cut pump prices for petrol and diesel. Murgatroyd said: 'Oil firms don't wield total control over fuel prices. The Government does and that is the problem.' He added that for every litre of unleaded petrol that is sold, currently priced at 77p a litre/346p a gallon on average, the Government levies a fixed duty of 48.82p a litre/219p a gallon. There is also an average of 12p a litre/54p a gallon in VAT
He said: 'This leaves a firm such as mine only with an average of 17p a litre/76p a gallon for transporting the oil, building and running the forecourt site and paying staff. At the end of the day we get only a small profit. The bottom line is that all we do is pay the cheque to the Treasury. We don't have stores to subsidise our reduced prices like supermarkets, yet we are always under the microscope.'
Murgatroyd added that UK motorists and fleets would enjoy lower petrol prices only if the Government cut fuel duties. And with the oil-producing countries threatening to reduce supplies, a reversal of the recent price cuts looks on the cards.