Sunday, March 06, 2011

George "hears" us?

Fuel duty huh? Now theres a real political hot potato. As the Middle East countries with all the oil go a bit nutty, the price of a barrel of oil goes up and after you chuck in the refining costs to turn crude into diesel or petrol we all start paying more at the pump.

Yes, fuel for your car has almost reached a shocking 50p per litre. Yes, that really does mean that 80p of the price you pay goes straight to the Treasury.

It was bullshit under Labour that this situation exists and it remains bullshit under the Coalition. But, never fear people, there is alight at the end of tunnel. The Chancellor George Osborne "hears" us when we complain. He says the 1p rise above inflation due in April is Labour's fault anyway as they pre-prepared it, but he's a nice chap so he may not implement it.

Isn't that so nice of him? Instead of a 40 litre tank costing you about £56 he's going to make sure it only costs you about £55.60. You can then buy a packet of fruit gums (if you're lucky) with the extra 40p. That works out to a massive £20.80 saving per year on the assumption that the price stay the same for 52 weeks.

Let's be clear for just one second. Refusing to put a tax increase already planned on something that has an extortionate level of tax on it already is not help because he's hearing anyone. It's a sop and it will likely make bugger all difference as the price continues to rise.

If the Chancellor wants growth then he should get it by taking an axe to fuel duty and put money back in our pockets to spend in the economy on other thing. After all, it won't just help people out it will also save a few businesses from ruin.

Ah yes, but what about the deficit some might say. Well, to those I would say this. Financial arrangements, be they personal, business or national, are influenced by events. Yes there is a bloody great deficit, but there is also a crisis in the region that keeps most of the world moving. So you do some shifting around with the budgets to cope, hopefully with contingency that you planned for (bet they didn't).

We could, perhaps, start by getting rid of Andrew Mitchell's nonsensical International Development department. When you're "in the shit" financially you don't start giving away what little money you have to strangers - although I realise that such ideas are "pie in the sky".

Seriously though, what you don't do is stand there and tell us you "hear" the complaints and then propose to throw us a bone worth about a half of the square root of zero.

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