On Friday the price of oil closed at $123 a barrel and the price of petrol on forecourts across Britain reached a record high. With petrol prices on their way too £1.50 a litre, we’ll soon be paying nearly £1 in tax and duty on a litre of petrol. This is absolutely ridiculous.
Britain is now the fuel tax capital of Europe. Nobody else pays as much tax and duty as we do, and if the Chancellor has his way, we’ll be paying even more, an extra 3p a litre in September.
If we had a booming economy, the cost of fuel wouldn’t be quite so critical. As it is, our economy is on its knees. Britain has a road based economy. The cost of fuel affects practically everything. What on earth is the sense in increasing the cost of this critical commodity at a time when we should be doing everything to reduce costs, encourage demand and generate growth? High energy prices hammer growth and stuff demand. Politicians keep mouthing the word ‘growth’ hoping that if they say it often enough the genie will be released from the bottle and it will just ‘happen’. It won’t. And it definitely won’t with fuel prices at their current level.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Israel’s premier, the right wing lunatic Netanyahu, is doing all he can to persuade the US to attack Iran and if they won’t he may decide to do it himself. If that happens the Iranians will close the Straits of Hormuz and we’ll be paying £2 a litre.
High fuel prices feed straight into inflation. Britain’s debt-burdened consumers are not going to be able to take high fuel prices for much longer. There are rumblings about fuel protests. They need to become louder. It seems the only way George Osborne is going to be persuaded to act to reduce the tax and duty on fuel, is to bring the country to a grinding halt.
What do we want? The abolition of VAT on petrol and diesel. The outcome? A reduction in prices and a boost in demand. It could be the one positive thing George Osborne ever does to stimulate growth, but we may have to make him do it.