Road fuel prices have seen one of the greatest falls on record, and an independent retailer has cut his price to less than £1 a litre for unleaded petrol, but David Cameron and his team of ministers still claim the industry is not doing enough to pass on the benefit of falling oil prices.
Velautham Sarveswaran, who runs four Harvest-branded sites with his wife, Ananthi, cut prices at his sites in Birmingham, Redditch and Walsall down to 99.7ppl on Sunday January 11, and at his Swindon site a week later.
However, he was keen to emphasise that the move was not a one-off publicity stunt as his sites have all built a reputation for the cheapest fuel in their area over the past four years. "Customers come to us because they know we will be cheapest," he said.
Asked how he managed to maintain the prices he said: "We have a very good contract with Harvest and we are not trying to be greedy. We set margins and we stick to them."
Velautham was critical of major supermarkets’ publicity campaigns about their price cuts, saying they were delaying and not keeping up with falling prices. He said: "The supermarkets were competitive a few years ago, but since they wiped out a lot of independents they are not so quick to bring down their prices."
Despite the plunge in prices David Cameron insisted prices at the pumps should fall "further and faster".
Speaking in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday January 14, he said: "We’re beginning to see prices fall quite substantially at the pumps but we want to see that go further and faster.
"Some of it will depend on the buying strategies that the fuel companies have but we will make sure the Competition Authority, and the Government, does everything it can to make sure those fuel prices are passed on."
And in a separate dabate, Amber Rudd, under-secretary of state for energy and climate change, said: "Although the price drop is being passed on, we expect more from the fuel providers."