Motorists stuck by rogue oil suppliers and a happy tax treasury

SIR – It was reported yesterday that the average price of a liter of petrol was £1.78, with diesel at £1.85.

However, my local garage sells petrol at the oddly high price of £1.98 a liter and diesel at £1.95. I haven’t heard of the Chancellor’s 5p per liter duty reduction – nor do I expect it.

All my MP would say is that he believes in free markets and competition, not state control, and that it’s up to customers to shop – that’s the best way to squeeze profiteers . This completely misses the oil companies’ failure to pass on the Chancellor’s 5p duty saving to the motorist. This must be considered by the government as a scam, and it must react.

Meanwhile, VAT on increasingly expensive fuel continues to flow into the Treasury. I know who profits with the oil companies. Motorists are not completely fooled.

Charles Leith
Fordingbridge, Hampshire

SIR – Seeing the exorbitant cost of fuel, I look back with some nostalgia to a time when increases would be a penny or two added to the cost of a litre. The petrol station in our village has just raised the price of its petrol by a whopping 16 pence a litre.

Ian Pinington
Partridge Green, West Sussex

SIR – The Blower cartoon showed a forecourt with diesel advertised at £1.86 a litre. Can I ask for the location of this gas station? It’s almost 20p cheaper than my nearest retailer.

Richard Thomas
Bwlchgwyn, Denbighshire

SIR – Sir John Armitt, the infrastructure czar, says gas boilers should be banned to tackle the cost of living crisis and help Britain achieve its green ambitions.

The problem with this flippant assertion is obvious: heat pumps only work effectively in well-insulated homes. You only need to look at real estate agent websites to see how energy inefficient most properties are. So heat pumps will cost more in most of the UK housing stock.

There are much simpler ways to cut costs: reduce green levies on utility bills, reduce VAT on fuel, and reduce fuel taxes.

Charles Penfold
Ulverston, Cumbria

SIR – You report (June 9) that the raw gas storage facility under the North Sea is to be reopened at a cost of £2bn. Can the government explain why it allowed Centrica to shut it down in the first place in 2017?

Chris Lewis
Widnes, Cheshire

SIR – If it was France, motorists would take to the streets and the government would suddenly reduce fuel tax. How long until the public says enough is enough and protests?

Richard Larner
Bournemouth, Dorset

SIR – Uh, wake up, Boris…

Peter Richards
Lytchett Matravers, Dorset

Boris’ last chance

SIR – The Conservatives’ manifesto was clear, the majority colossal, the opportunities immense, the opposition almost ineffective. Even taking Covid into account, what could possibly go wrong?

But things went wrong. It is clear from the Tory leadership vote that the status quo is unacceptable.

The potential for 2019 still exists. Boris Johnson has less than 18 months to prove himself. Is it really that hard for him to sit down with the so-called cabinet masterminds, come up with an action plan that gets the party and the country behind him, and put it into action?

Charles Holden
Micheldever, Hampshire

SIR – There is no doubt that Boris Johnson needs to be replaced.

However, I don’t understand why Jeremy Hunt is being considered. His performance as health secretary was very poor. Although his recent book Zero showed he understands what needs to change in the NHS, he failed to act when given the chance.

Mr. Hunt is a nice, well-meaning man, but he would just keep the seat warm. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a new prime minister with no cabinet experience. In fact, if I were a Tory MP who hadn’t been appointed as a minister by Mr Johnson, I would consider that a badge of honour.

James Small
Epsom, Surrey

SIR – Allison Pearson says ‘Conservatives need to find an ace up their sleeve to win again’.

They have one in Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, who was staunchly loyal to David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson, and can unite the party.

Mr Zahawi is a staunch Brexiteer, a successful businessman and a capable minister who exceeded expectations when in charge of the vaccination programme. The party’s best media interpreter after the Prime Minister, he is combative but polite, tough but sympathetic and a firm but pragmatic Thatcherian.

His political instincts – including his support for high schools – are in tune with the vast majority of Tories and would appeal to the millions of former lower-middle-class and working-class Labor and ukip voters who were a decisive part of the 2019 Conservative electorate.

I would join the party immediately if Mr. Zahawi was at the helm.

Philip Duly
Haslemere, Surrey

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