It may be April 1, but Brian Madderson of RMI Petrol is not fooled by the government’s attempt to bury the extent of today’s tax-induced fuel price increases and lay the cause at retailers’ doors. He has encouraged retailers to display notices on their counters showing how tax rises on fuel since January 1 have added 6ppl to the price of fuel. This is calculated by the VAT rise from 15% to 17.5%; today’s duty increase of 2ppl ( which includes the decrease in duty incentive to refiners on biofuel production); and the resulting increased VAT paid overall due to the rising oil market prices.

Madderson has also apparently broken something of a record today by appearing on 14 consecutive interviews on local BBC radio stations. His day started with a live interview on Radio 5 at 5.30am followed by an appearance on Radio 4, and subesequently Sky News.

"I’ve been talking to the press about business rates – the increases are payable from today – and fuel pricing, and exposing the government for trying to spin the story that motorists are being mugged on the forecourt by retailers."

Madderson has made countless appearances on radio and TV in the past few weeks as part of his campaign to get revisions on business rates increases for the petrol retailing sector. He is also trying to put the public straight on how fuel pricing is structured, and what percentage is tax.

"I’m getting good feedback from retailers who feel that the message is beginning to get through," he said,  before heading for a well-earned rest.