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UK Gasoline Prices Surge To Record Highs

Gasoline prices in the UK hit an all-time high this week, with a liter averaging over $2.30, Bloomberg has reported, noting that this makes UK gasoline the costliest in the five biggest European economies.

RAC, the automotive services organization, noted that retail gasoline prices have diverged from wholesale prices, which have been on the decline for five weeks in a row.

"We would love to hear their reasoning for keeping their prices so high in this instance," said Simon Williams, a spokesman for the RAC.

The spike in retail fuel prices has caused disgruntlement that has led to a series of go-slow protests, with campaigners from FairFuelUK saying there were plans for go-slow protests on several highways in the country in protest of the record prices.

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Last month, the RAC reported that the bill for filling a car with gasoline in the UK had for the first time exceeded 100 pounds, which is equal to close to $122.

"It's a truly dark day today for drivers, with petrol now crossing the thoroughly depressing threshold of £100 a tank (£100.27p). A complete diesel fill-up now costs £103.43," spokesman Williams said at the time, as quoted by Sky News.

The government, in an effort to relieve the burden, cut the fuel duty by the equivalent of $0.06 per liter as early as March, but the measure has been nowhere near sufficient to arrest the rise in prices at the pump.

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The RAC's Williams in June urged Downing Street to cut the duty further to help drivers cope or, alternatively, implement a temporary reduction in VAT, which is some $0.36 per liter.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said at the end of June that the government was considering deeper cuts to the fuel duty.

The president of AA, the motoring organization, said, "Pump prices are now more like 'pump fiction' as they don't reflect the general downward trends we have been seeing in wholesale prices. This is now an urgent situation."

Record fuel prices are adding to an already severe cost-of-living crisis in the UK, with inflation hitting 9.1 percent in May, which is the highest since 1982.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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