Chancellor Calls For Cheaper Petrol

UK Chancellor Alistair Darling has called on fuel companies to pass on price cuts to customers.

Mr Darling, speaking on GMTV this morning, said consumers should reap the benefits of recent drops in world oil prices.

He insisted price reductions needed to be passed on at the pumps swiftly.

"I want to see that reduction passed on to the pumps as quickly as possible.

"Because people are entitled to see the benefit of that falling price reflected in what they actually pay when they fill up the car," said the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Crude oil prices have fallen to trade around $70 (£42) a barrel from over $147 a barrel in July.

Mr Darling's calls were made as he announced a £4bn support package for small British firms.

Funding will come from the European Investment Bank, and aims to help small and medium sized businesses through high street banks.

The Chancellor said he recognised traditional lending by the banks had dried up due to the ongoing credit crisis.

Mr Darling said he was "concerned" about healthy businesses being refused funding.

However, the Tories have blasted the plans, insisting the government was increasing taxes for smaller firms.


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