(Bloomberg) -- The UK has lagged behind major European nations in trying to help people deal with soaring petrol and diesel prices, according to the RAC motoring organization.
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The government lowered the duty charged on petrol by 4.5 pence (5.5 cents) a liter in April, putting it well behind Germany Italy, Portugal, Ireland and the Netherlands. France and Spain also introduced discounts at filling stations that far exceeded the UK’s reduction, the RAC said.
There are tentative signs that retail petrol prices are starting to slide in the UK following prolonged declines in wholesale markets. On Friday, supermarket giant Asda cut prices by 5 pence a liter, having lowered them 4 pence earlier in the week.
“It’s frustrating that repeated calls to the UK government for more support are falling on deaf ears,” RAC spokesman Simon Williams said. “UK pump prices might be finally starting to fall, but the reductions so far are too little and too late.”
While subsidizing fuel sales may be popular with motorists, it also encourages consumption, thereby supporting prices.
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