The price of diesel has hit a record high having rocketed by 10p per litre (ppl) in just 12 months.
The increase leaves diesel at 143.05p per litre, a level that could derail government plans to curb inflation, is a disaster for motorists, says RMI Petrol retailers association chairman Brian Madderson.
Mr Madderson is calling on the government to ease the pressure on motorists and the economy by ditching plans to raise fuel duty by 3.02ppl from 1 August 2012. Such a rise would result in a 4.00ppl price hike once VAT at 20 per cent is included.
Mr Madderson says: “It’s all very well for the government and the Bank of England to declare that CPI is heading down, but try telling that to our cash-strapped retailers and to the millions of motorists, truckers and van drivers now paying an average 143.05ppl for their diesel. We are seeing run-away inflation for diesel and petrol is little better.”
“This record price for diesel, plus the rising costs of petrol, means household budgets, big business and small and medium-sized operators are all being squeezed by these high fuel prices.
“Our economic recovery seems to have stalled and government must resist the temptation to hike fuel tax.”
“We have not seen prices like this since the record was set on May 9 2011 during the Arab Spring uprisings when diesel hit 143.04ppl.
“RMI Petrol had warned government that this worrying price rise was inevitable and now it is with us. It must cast serious doubt over any hope of the government hitting its 2 per cent inflation target by the Autumn.“
Diesel now accounting for 55 per cent of UK retail and commercial road fuels, there is no respite as petrol costs are also on the rise, 5 per cent up on February 2011 (though the average at 135.09ppl for petrol is short of the May 2011 record of 137.43ppl).