fuel prices & a proposed petrol blockade

Taken from FT.com

Fuel protesters threaten to mount refinery blockade
By Thomas Catan
Published: September 7 2005 17:54 | Last updated: September 7 2005 17:54

The organisers of a protest against the cost of fuel that caused chaos across Britain five years ago threatened to act again as petrol prices broke the £1 a litre barrier in some parts of the country.

Andrew Spence of the Fuel Lobby said the group would call for blockades of oil refineries next Wednesday if the government did not cut tax on fuel.

“We want to see an immediate reduction in taxation to bring fuel prices down or as of 6am next Wednesday there won’t be a refinery in the country left open,” Mr Spence said. He claimed that 26 transport companies had already promised to help.

The week-long blockade of refineries in 2000 caught the oil industry off guard and closed petrol stations throughout the country. It sparked panic buying of fuel and even food, and was estimated to have cost business £1bn.

If successful, such action could further compound the shortage of petrol and diesel, which were in short supply even before Hurricane Katrina closed nine refineries in the US.

However, the organisers have previously failed at efforts to mount a repeat of the 2000 protests and the government has since put in place contingency plans to prevent protesters from disrupting petrol distribution.

It is also unclear if the public would again tolerate an action that could cause widespread disruption and result in even higher prices.

On Wednesday, the Treasury said it would not reduce the tax on fuel, claiming that the main rates of road fuel duty had already fallen nearly 14 per cent in real terms since 2000. The government said the biggest priority was working with the US to restore output levels and maintaining pressure on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the oil cartel, to boost its oil production.

“Road fuel duty rates on the main types of petrol and diesel are lower now than they were six years ago,” the Treasury said. “In light of the continuing volatility in the oil market, we also took the decision last year not to go ahead with the annual inflation increase in fuel duties, and this year we have again delayed the annual increase until we can review the position in the pre-Budget report.”

According to the AA Motoring Trust, the average price of unleaded petrol on Wednesday was 95.18p, up 6.2 per cent since August 1. Diesel rose to an average price of 97.66p on Wednesday, up 4.6 per cent over the past five weeks.

However, the trust said many service stations were charging more than £1 a litre for diesel, while petrol had also broken the £1 barrier in some places.

About 65 per cent of the price of a litre of petrol goes to the government in duty or value added tax. However, the increase in the price of fuel is the result of the rising cost of crude oil and shortages in refining capacity, not tax increases. Other motoring organisations said the threatened protests would do nothing to bring down prices.

Ruth Bridger of the AA Motoring Trust said: “We don’t see there’s much point [in the protests]. Everybody knows fuel is going up and everyone knows why. We just have to ride this one out.”

Great is'nt it just as me & mrs mattmo are of to sunny dorset for the week, on Sunday.

Anyone know where the unleaded dump is at Lulworth camp? if not Bovington will do!
And if this protest goes ahead, the Civil Contingencies Act will take all of, oh, 3 seconds to be used (there's a specific clause in it for this kind of thing)
Disco said:
My local garage has now hit the £1 a litre mark. :x

Wife can walk to the shops from now on!!

Any one know what U/L is going for on the south coast.

We're still at about 90P per ltr up here.
Ah vigilantism...

No refineries? That'll really bring the prices down.

I suggest a counter-proposal. Let's collect money and put bounties on the CEOs of Shell, BP, Exxon, etc.
Whilst i wholeheartedly stand behind the reasons behind this protest, i can already see the repercussions.

If fuel is blocked, demand will far outstrip supply and the price will rocket past £1 per litre and if the protest is a failure, the petrol companies will conveniently forget to drop the prices back down below the £1 mark until a supermarket decides to start a price war.

Ho hum....
Fuel prices in South of England gone mad, on A303 just north of Salisbury £1.06 per litre of UL
Big_Vern said:
Fuel prices in South of England gone mad, on A303 just north of Salisbury £1.06 per litre of UL
Main routes are always expensive. The centre of my town U/L is 95.9 pence but go to the bypass just out side the price rockets.
If it fecks around the government (particularly if it leads to unpleasant images of the Stasi surrounding refineries and locking up farmers and truckers) then I will be amused. Not a responsible attitude, but something that hastens the political demise of the Dear Leader can't be wholly bad!
I filled a 70-litre diesel tank from zero to in-yer-socks status last week for the princely sum of £35...but I was in the Channel Islands at the time.
Remember this when Gay Gordon tries the 'its-not-the-tax-its-the-oil-price' argument.
cheesypoptart said:
stickybomb said:
Remember this when Gay Gordon tries the 'its-not-the-tax-its-the-oil-price' argument.
Actually, it isn't the tax, it is the oil price :).
Only the most recent rise is down to oil price.

Greedy Gordon takes about 47.1p per litre of the money you pay at the till. And then on top of that he charges VAT!!! so we are doubled taxed!

Thats hardly a small amount now is it?
If the oil price goes up, the tax should be dropped to compensate. Keeping the price stable is good for commerce and as such good for the economy.

Of course the government will say that that's not possible because it'll lower the tax earnt, but if people only buy the fuel they need, don't travel so much and end up spending less on luxuries they will loose that in the VAT and as the economy falters with businesses failing all over they not only loose even more revenue, they loose grip on the economy, businesses, jobs and any hope at the next elections.

They could do it if they wanted to, but they'll chance it..... the ba5tards.

Seems about right :)
My tuppence worth:
Tax is calculated as a percentage of the cost of oil which means that the Government actually earns more per litre when the price of oil goes up. A fairer way would be to just charge a flat rate of tax per litre regardless of barrell price. That way any changes to the world market would directly correlate to the price at the pump. (i.e. if a barrell of oil goes up by 2% so does a litre of fuel at the pump)
Any one know what U/L is going for on the south coast.

We're still at about 90P per ltr up here.[/quote]

Came back from Wareham, Dorset last Sunday and prices were still 93p per litre locally there. Probably gone up by now!!!
People in the States complain because it's one Pound fifty per gallon here.
Blame the Yanks.

Read an article in the Boston Globe yesterday. America drivers have been buying all these stupid gas-guzzling, giant SUVs that ruin everything, but now that fuel prices have shot up, they're switching to....medium-size SUVs! Idiots!.

This is also driven by the Detroit manufacturers, whose cars are sh1te, but who've been selling tons of SUVs and trucks - and when sales waned and fuel prices shot up immediately launched non-stop sales events.

I'd love to say keep the tax in the UK, like they should in the US. But in the US there's a humongous wastage of fuel because people drive inefficient cars, and never use public transport, let alone walk.
So, lowering fuel taxes for the Septics would simply give them carte blanche to continue in their gas-guzzling ways instead of giving them a reality check

In the UK, people seem to be generally fuel-efficient, so lowering taxes temporarily might actually be necessary for the economy.

Nevertheless, higher fuel costs in the US and UK are symptomatic of our decreasing use of public transport and rail for goods shipments. As consumers, it's our responsibility to keep demand at an acceptable level. Right now, we're just greedy.

I now feel guilty for letting my wife buy a merely fuel-efficient VW Jetta (=Bora), instead of an ultra fuel-efficient Civic Hybrid or Toyota Prius (not the lack of American cars in the running).
I don't know why the government peg the rate of tax to the fuel price by using a percentage rate. It would be easier for all concerned if it were charged at a standard rate per litre, say 40p, they would then have a much easier chance of predicting the revenue that would be generated.

Also in the VERY unlightly event of a fall in the price of oil they would still have a garanteed revenue. The way it is at present, we have a huge disaster like Hurricane Katrina and the Chancellor rakes it in. The only people this really hurts are the poor, the very people that the labour party claims to champion. Fuel tax going up with the price of oil is immoral but you cann expect nothing better from the present government.

And as to a blockade what will that do, push up the price at the pumps more, generating more revenue per litre, granted less will be sold. It will peter out after a few days anyway, after all we are not French!

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