Monday, February 11

Cruel Fuel

Last November the price or petrol and diesel crossed the £1 per litre mark when the cost of oil spiked at $100 per barrel and is currently averaging, for petrol, a huge 103 pence per litre across the country at petrol stations.

Since the price hike of last autumn the recent 12 per cent slide in the price of crude oil has been matched only by a measly 1.8 per cent price reduction at the pumps.
Whilst HM Treasury continues to regard vehicle fuel as a cash cow - taxing the over regulated motorist with ever increasing excess (in keeping with the small businesses community, which is tough if you are both a small business and a high mileage motorist) there is little chance that our political masters will see fit to appoint an oil price regulator or indeed focus the Office of Fair Trade on the issue.

As the Editor of this blog has tirelessly pointed out over the past 8 years British motorists are (unwittingly, mostly) paying about 74 per cent of the cost of filling up their tanks in tax. For every £40 of fuel close on £30 is tax - a combination of VAT and Duty. Few realise that VAT is levied on both the Duty as well as the retail price of the fuel - a tax on a tax in fact. Imagine the protests if British motorists saw the price of the fuel displayed on the pump as £5.20 and then a tax man demanding a further £14.80 at the till, that is what in effect happens every hour of every day this over taxed nation of ours.

Since British supermarkets account for 25 per cent of UK petrol fuel sales; Her Majesty's taxperson (with the authority of the EU) taking a huge share there is little hope of real financial relief for the UK motorist. This despite a huge world surplus of crude oil (US gasoline inventory) since apparently the economic laws of supply and demand do not apply to International Petro Chemical companies.

So there we have it (again), the choice for those of a campaigning nature is simple either another Very British Revolt (the title of the Channel 5 documentry on the Peoples Fuel Lobby in 2000) or we protest by cycling not motoring.

1 comment:

tapestry said...

The electric car recently announced in the USA/being built in Canada costs 20% of the gas price to fuel up and drive 200 miles. Their gas is far cheaper than ours so in the UK it would be one tenth the cost of petrol per mile.

I don't think Gordon will be able to stop people getting their electricity recharge at ordinary rates. It takes only a few minutes as the battery is based on a super-capacitor.

It won't just be Saudi Arabia and Russia that are left without income. So will be the British government. I am sure they will switch to road pricing as their next tax after petrol is no more.