Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Budget Fuel Duty

Well done George, I thought that went pretty well! Fuel duty cut by a penny, the fuel duty escalator suspended and the inflation rise in fuel duty postponed. Total cost to the Treasury: around £2bn/year for the next 5 years. Paid for by an increase in levies on North Sea oil production...

The Sun reports today that for all that, pump prices have increased from pre-budget levels. Meanwhile Valiant Petroleum, Centrica, Statoil and others have announced they are considering shelving North Sea projects in the light of the tax rises. 

So it looks like everybody loses.
  • Motorists are still complaining about high fuel prices (although they are lower than they would’ve been), and they’ll have no improvement to alternative transport options;
  • The nation will become even more dependent on foreign oil, and more vulnerable to oil price volatility;
  • The total tax take will likely go down if oil companies disinvest, plus UK jobs will be lost.
My nan could’ve done a better Budget than that.


  1. Aha, but there's a method in this madness. The more fuel prices go up the more people turn to cycling. Maybe, just maybe, this is the secret plan.

  2. Oil companies won't disinvest - not when they can trouser $130/barrel for the stuff. It's just the usual special pleading by a self-interested lobby group.

    Osborne will cut it back anyway if oil prices fall (a big if).

    And anyway, we can always replace it with all that loevely safe, clean, cheap nuclear energy which our beloved popular representtaives still seem keen on.