Monday, 29 June 2009

Petrol prices

Anyone noticed that the price of petrol is creeping up again?
Why no protests this time? I'm sure nothing has changed and we are all (Well... except maybe a few MP's) struggling in the economic climate.
As it stands petrol is 103 at my local garage, the cost of it breaks down like this

Petrol cost = 27.82p, Garage gets = 7.57p, Duty = 54.19 and VAT = 13.42p.
It is the duty and VAT that is the killer, petrol is an easy commodity to tax, almost everyone uses it and if you don't then any goods you buy must have been brought to you using it.
So when are we going to to see protests again? When it hits 105 or 110? And was has happened to the most vocal of protesters from the last demo? Suddenly its very quiet.

Recently I lost my job and had not realised how much a tank of petrol had risen, I used to put £10 in the tank of the bike and refill when the gauge told me I was low, sometimes it would not take the whole £10, now its costing me £14 to fill up, I had not noticed it creep up that much! Some time in the last two years it seems to have gone up an enormous amount.

A lot of people are struggling to make ends meet, they are trying to cut their costs to reduce outgoings and the price of petrol is not helping, most of the tax on petrol will probably get swallowed up in the spiralling cost of running this country, is it not about time government got its house in order and really clamped down on waste and inefficiency with our money.

I am absolutely certain that if our country was a business, the shareholders would be screaming for a change in the board by now. This country is run by civil servants, MP's rely on these civil servants to do the majority of the work in running the country, MP's come and go but they remain, without them the country would fall apart. Public servants though can increase their own power and budgets, who is watching over them? In the 80's Derek Rayner, the former chief executive of Marks and Spencer, was appointed as an efficiency expert and he pointed out that only 3 of the 8 BILLION spent by the civil service went on 'essential services' the rest was effectively frittered away. I wonder what that figure would be now.
Reducing that waste could allow our tax burden to come down dramatically, I am also sure that is not the only place we could reduce costs, ever wonder how much Trident is costing us? Look it up.

Rather than look at the problems logically, government tends to throw more money at them to mask the effects, this makes it look like they are doing something. They should really get back to the root cause of many of our money problems. They wont do that though, as this would show that all they have been doing all the time is quick 'popular' fixes, any government that did try to rectify the problems in this country would be very unpopular for some time as the cure will not be to the public taste, but we, or at least somebody, have to do something. This current situation will deteriorate further and further, the Labour government will just let it rot, they know they will lose the next election, so will leave it to the next government to sort it out, whoever gets in will also get most of the blame.

So when will we see the next load of petrol protests? I have no idea, I think the fight has been knocked out of all of us, we have too many other problems to worry about.


  1. I agree that reducing waste in the civil service would reduce our tax burden, but I don't think there is anywhere near as much waste as you think. Besides which who decides what are essential services? To you preserving the environment might not be an essential service, but to the next generation it might be vital. yet compared to providing job centre services, the environmental work my department does would not seem to be essential services. Which would explain why we're fighting yet another budget cut, rather than having the power to increase our budget as we like.

    I have to say i'm getting tired of all the country's ills being blamed on civil servants. we work hard for little reward, and plenty of grief. we also pay tax and contribute to the economy. the government is perfectly capable of frittering money away without our help, the expenses scandal/Trident/Iraq war showed that. I don't see why we have to be the bad guys all the while, it's not like we're maliciously spending money just so the government has to charge more tax.

  2. 26 thousand million litres of petrol sold in 2005 and more each year since with an average over time of 90p per litre or so. 70% or more of that to the government to waste on whatever.

    Do the math.

  3. Time the government had the majority of power removed from them as far as the business end of running the country is concerned, and put some real businessmen in the job.