Oil prices hit all-time high in Britain meaning petrol could hit £1.50 a litre by Christmas

Petrol prices could hit £1.50 a litre by Christmas as greedy speculators, spiralling oil costs and a weak pound combine to push the cost of a full tank to over £100, motoring groups warned last night.

The latest prices at the pumps show the benefits of Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget tax cut have already been wiped out – less than a fortnight after he reduced fuel duty by 1p a litre.

And there is worse to come as speculators talk up the oil price to boost their profits – with at least a 3p a litre increase set to hit within days – putting families ‘at breaking point’.

AA spokesman Luke Bosdet said: ‘We are sick to death of speculators driving up sky high prices and making massive profits.

‘If the pump price gets to £1.40 a litre we are in serious trouble and risk being driven back into recession.

‘It’s leading to a fuel Armageddon. People are at breaking point.’

Meanwhile, the RAC predicted prices would climb even higher.

The group’s motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: ‘Fuel has been rising at 1p a week.

‘At this rate we’ll be hitting £1.50 a litre by Christmas. The volatile oil market has meant that drivers have seen very little benefit from the duty cut. Prices are continuing to spiral upwards with no end in sight.’

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