Tag Archive | "oil prices"

Are We Paying Too Much For Fuel?


Is, you might equally ask, David Cameron a Conservative?

With the news that the Office of Fair Trading is having a look at pump prices and all the attendant ho-ha that goes with them it is not unreasonable to ask, ‘What took you so long?’

This august body will investigate by how much the price we pay is reflected in the price of crude oil and will also be checking up on suspected devious industry practices which allegedly are designed to favour oil companies and supermarkets against the small independent retailer. So far so good.

But, does anyone still really believe that the actions of the greedy financial markets in their oil trading trickery can have so much effect on the price we pay for a litre? The fact remains – as has recently been demonstrated – that even if the price of oil drops significantly the price at the pump changes hardly at all. This clearly shows that the oil companies know full well that if they keep the retail price high, they will make more money. It really is that cynical.

Nobody at the top of this industry or indeed at the top of government cares less about what the customer pays or thinks. Sure, they occasionally spout their weasel words about fair pricing and the like whilst at the same time giggling to themselves over another bottle of Bolly.

The Office of Fair Trading plans to consult with the industry, the various motoring bodies and consumer organisations to get at the facts, which should be blindingly obvious. Let’s hope the message gets through to the government – for starters – that might help prevent the additional 3p tax being added in January 2013. At this point the sensible advice would be to not hold your breath in hope.

In the same way that retail utility customers do not believe that our gas and electric bills are affected by short term fluctuations in the wholesale cost of power sources then the same applies to motor fuels. We are, quite simply, being taken for a ride.

Across the UK more and more people struggle to make ends meet. Big cars are losing ground and small economical new cars are picking up sales as motorists try to keep on the road. Those not in a position to get another car are keeping their old vehicles on the road for longer. Older used cars are in demand. Young drivers can’t afford to run a car at all.

The government thinks that the way to stimulate the economy is to build more houses as if their predecessors haven’t tried it before without achieving long-lasting success. Surely the way to stimulate growth would be to free up small businesses, enabling them to compete and lower taxation – including the astronomic cost of petrol – to allow the public to spend. Instead they pander to greed.

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