WHY IS FUEL SO EXPENSIVE FOR BRIT DRIVERS?
FILLING up the average family car with petrol now costs more than an hour of pleasure with a sexy hooker.
In recent weeks, as the Middle East slips closer to war, the price at the pumps has again started to rise after modest falls at the beginning of the year.
Diesel soared to a record £1.50 a litre at a Shell garage on the M6 near Coventry, with average diesel prices now standing at 143.61p and petrol at 135.39p.
But however much Iran rattles its sabres or blocks the Straits of Hormuz, the biggest hit on the motorists’ wallet comes courtesy of Her Majesty’s Treasury.
This week it emerged that Brit drivers are shouldering the heaviest tax burden in the EU at the pumps.
Sixty per cent of the price of petrol and 58 per cent of the cost of diesel is made up of duties and VAT in Britain, the highest in the EU.
Campaigners met Treasury minister Chloe Smith yesterday to demand action for millions who are already facing a regular £100 fill-up for an average-size car.
Mid-january, the price for diesel in the UK was 141.3p a litre. But without tax and duties, it would be only 59.8p.
Petrol cost 132.9p, although without tax and duties it would be a more manageable 52p.
We all KNOW that petrol and diesel is so dear in the UK because of the tax levied on fuel. The question is WHY?
One campaigner, Lynne Beaumont of Fairfueluk, says that the tax burden has grown steadily.
She said: “Fuel duty has crept up over the years a penny here and there and the reaction has tended to be ‘What’s a penny or two?’ “But for a mediumsized haulier with 50 lorries, a 1p a litre rise in fuel adds £30,000 to their fuel bill. As margins are so low in the industry, that extra has to be passed on to the consumer.
“We are presenting Chloe Smith with a report showing that lowering duty would help the economy.”
Lynne added: “Frankly I’m amazed that there is not rioting in the streets. We tend to accept things in this country. It’s extraordinary.
“But Fairfueluk does not back direct action. That would cause problems for ordinary motorists. We have the support of 150 MPS, who will be the ones voting on Budget measures. We can make a difference.”
But in reality how much difference can even 150 MPS make? Because motorists are the cash cows with the biggest udders in the field.
Drivers are taxed twice every time they fill their tanks – first with fuel duty then with 20 per cent VAT.
Fuel duty raises around £27billion a year for George Osborne’s Treasury coffers.
The good thing about fuel – from the point of view of the Treasury – is that we can’t get by without it. No matter how much petrol and diesel are taxed, we still need to get to work and we still need our goods delivered to the shops.
Because it’s essential, when fuel goes up, demand does not fall by a corresponding amount – it’s known as price inelasticity.
The Chancellor can hike the price of fuel again and again and we’ll carry on buying.
Fuel duty is planned to rise every year by at least the rate of inflation, regardless of what happens to the price of oil. And VAT, the other tax levied on fuel, is charged at the standard rate, so as fuel rises, VAT also rises.
The last major protest against fuel duty was in 2000, when blockades of refineries and “go slows” on Britain’s motorways caused chaos.
Twelve years on, the price of filling up has DOUBLED. In the past two years alone, they’ve soared 25 per cent
Osborne has signalled he will not be able to repeat freezes or cuts, having spent billions to keep fuel duty 6p lower than it would otherwise have been.
So it looks like we’re stuck with sky-high fuel.
Unless we suddenly become French and begin setting fire to things to show we’re cross – but we won’t do that...we can’t afford to waste
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RIOT WAY: French methods won’t please Chancellor George Osborne (