UK is second worst in Europe for fuel support, research shows

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The UK government is the second worst in Europe in terms of offering drivers support amid rising fuel prices, according to new research from the RAC, an automotive services company.

The report suggests that the UK has offered the second least amount of support to motorists among all European countries amid the current fuel crisis.

Out of 13 EU countries that have cut tax on petrol, only Luxembourg has done less than the UK government, with a duty cut in April worth the equivalent of 4.52p compared to the 5p duty cut as part of the March budget.

Only Croatia, with a tax cut worth 4.5p, has done less than the UK in terms of diesel.

According to RAC, Germany cut petrol tax by 25p per litre, with Italy cutting by 21p, Portugal by 16p and both Ireland and the Netherlands by nearly 15p.

Other EU countries have introduced fuel discounts at forecourt tills, with Spain taking off 17p and France 15p.

The average price of a litre of both petrol and diesel in the UK is well above the current EU averages of 159p and 161p respectively. In the UK, petrol costs 186p on average per litre – behind only Finland with 190p and Denmark matched at 186p. It is the second most expensive place for diesel at 195p per litre, with only Sweden charging more at 201p.

Simon Williams, fuel spokesman at RAC, said: “This analysis lays bare an uncomfortable truth for the UK government – that compared to other European countries, it’s pretty much done the least to support drivers through the current period of record high fuel prices.

“The result is the UK being one of the most expensive places to fill up and putting it above other countries that have historically charged more for fuel than UK retailers do, including France and the Netherlands.

“The cost-of-living crisis shows no signs of coming to an end anytime soon and it’s frustrating that repeated calls to the UK Government for more support are falling on deaf ears.

“UK pump prices might be finally starting to fall, but the reductions so far are too little and too late, given the massive wholesale price drops retailers have been benefiting from for nearly two months.”

The research reveals that, in France, it costs £12 less to fill a 55-litre family car with petrol versus UK prices; a full 55-litre tank of diesel is also £17 less expensive.

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