We Are All Suffering From Rising Price Of Oil
THE rising price of oil on the world market during the last two years has meant that we have all suffered. Very bad news for car drivers commuting to work, doing the shopping or getting about. But dire for operators of lorries and vans who need to move t
THE rising price of oil on the world market during the last two years has meant that we have all suffered. Very bad news for car drivers commuting to work, doing the shopping or getting about. But dire for operators of lorries and vans who need to move their goods as part of their business. And, worst of all, for hauliers, whose entire business is to move other people's goods. Fuel now represents almost 40 per cent of their total operating costs. Bulk diesel prices have risen from 76p per litre last May up to 106p per litre today - a 40 per cent increase in just 12 months.
Diesel is the lifeblood of the economy. If you've got it then it has almost certainly been inside the back of a lorry. Everything in the supermarkets, everything in the high street, the bricks that build our homes and the beer that stocks our pubs. You name it and it's the product of a lorry journey. You may not like the lorry, but it's the lorry that delivers everything you need.
Sadly, the problems caused by a rising world price for oil are compounded in the UK by our ultra-high tax regime. Duty on diesel is 50p per litre compared to a European average of 25p. A single 40-tonne lorry, doing around seven miles to the gallon, now faces an annual fuel bill of between £40,000 and £45,000. One vehicle, £45,000 per year for diesel, of which more than £21,000 is tax.
The price of diesel, and the tax paid on it, impacts on the whole population. It is an ingredient in the price of everything. That is why it is so important for the Government to change its tax strategy and reduce the level of duty paid by commercial vehicle operators. Not just for the benefit of those operators, but for all of us as consumers. High diesel prices stoke inflation.
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The call for lower diesel duty is not just self interest by the transport industry. It is important for every one of us.
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Head of Policy - London, South East and East of England Freight Transport Association Hermes House
St John's Road