Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Petrol Prices - again

2 months ago (26th March) I posted a photo of my local Shell garage. They had just installed a new sign - with extra space for the ever lengthening prices. The picture showed the price of a litre of unleaded as 108.9 and Diesel as 115.9.

Just 2 months on and unleaded has increased another 10p a litre.

The price leap for diesel is even greater - 15p a litre.

Last week world oil prices peaked at $135 a barrel. So now filling my tank with 45 litres of unleaded costs an extra £4.50 - almost a 10% rise on the March price. Before tax is added the UK has the cheapest diesel in Europe, after tax is added it is the most expensive (the shortage of capacity in European production apparently explains the inequality between the price of diesel and unleaded).

I read in the paper today that Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling arrived at the recent emergency oil summit in a Jaguar and a Range Rover - vehicles which probably struggle to achieve 10 miles a gallon on a good day. Apparently MPs have asked for an increase in their travel allowances to cover the new petrol price hike. Well why not - after all last year Prime Minister Gordon Brown charged taxpayers for light bulbs at his home and Deputy PM John Prescott claimed some of his food bill. While the rest of us make cuts to other areas of our spending why not insulate our legislators from the fuel pain too?

The Inland Revenue allows the self-employed to claim 40p a mile in lieu of calculating the full cost of running a car for their business. I'm sure the Revenue will feel our pain when we all start making the full running cost calculation for this tax year.

We can moan all we like, but we have to change our behaviour. Fuel isn't going to get any cheaper.

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