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March 21, 2005


Laban Tall

Given that tax is, what - 80% of the pump price, I imagine they find it easier (and more entertaining) to give the Government a hard time rather than buying futures (or prospecting off the Falklands).

PS - have you or anyone else posted on the remarkable tribunal decision in the North Cumbria NHS Trust case, where a tribunal decided that some mainly-female jobs were 'of equal value' to other, mainly-male jobs ?



Yes but oil is traded in US dollars. The 30 per cent rise in the pound versus the dollar since 2000 has helped offset some of the oil increase. In fact the oil price when converted to sterling has been reasonably stable for about 18 months.

Road haulage companies in the UK would seem to be at a financial disadvantage to their EU and US buddies, but whilst they have lower fuel prices, we have shorter haulage distances - being a tiny island. Maybe if lorry drivers were more willing to drive overnight (or in the early morning hours) they would waste less fuel stuck in traffic.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1098985.stm shows petrol prices in 2000
http://www.see-search.com/business/fuelandpetrolpriceseurope.htm - shows prices in EU and US. What is noticeable is only really UK and US don't have cheap diesel.


Laban, first just to say I really enjoy reading your blog, it is one of the first on my daily list.

I know UK petrol tax is "high", but it's not like it is "low" in other European countries, and you also have to consider other ownership taxes and running costs.

What is noticable across Europe is that where tax is lower, the profit margin is higher, so it is reasonable to assume that should the UK tax be lowered then the oil companies would just put it back on as profit, already knowing what the consumer is willing to pay.

Anyone who thinks that knocking off, say, 5% tax, is going to make any long-term difference is living in fantasy land, as soon as the oil price rises the supplier will use that excuse to take it back to where it was before and leave it there.


It's all surreal: they compete mainly with each other so when diesel prices rise they can always pass it on to the customers. Unless the silly buggers sign fixed-price, long-term contracts.

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