PROOF of the Government’s petrol rip-off was revealed yesterday by figures showing that we have some of the cheapest fuel in Europe – until the tax is added.
An EU website comparing fuel prices across the continent showed that before tax unleaded petrol in Britain costs about 54.7p per litre. This is far cheaper than petrol anywhere in the EU apart from Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Estonia.
But once tax is added Britain’s petrol costs on average 136p per litre – among the most expensive. Diesel is cheaper than Britain’s 58.6p per litre before tax in only Slovenia, Bulgaria and Estonia. But after tax, the UK average price of 139p per litre is the most expensive in the EU.
This is despite Chancellor George Osborne’s decision in the March Budget to cut fuel duty by 1p per litre and to delay two planned inflationary rises until January and next summer. RAC strategist Adrian Tink said: “Is it any wonder that Britain’s motorists continue to believe they’re nothing but a cash cow?
“The 1p tax cut was a step in the right direction. But when you compare the level of tax we pay at the pump to other EU countries it’s clear it was quite a small one.” Motorists currently pay about £45billion a year in taxes including £26billion in fuel duty. Peter Carroll of FairFuelUk.com said the Government should be cutting the fuel tax.
He said: “The level of tax borders on the criminal. We should be moving towards reducing fuel taxes. We should get rid of all future rises.” The Treasury said Mr Osborne had moved to help motorists at his last Budget.
A spokesman said: “Petrol taxes would be 6p higher if it wasn’t for the Budget in which he scrapped the planned tax increases, paid for by the fair fuel escalator on North Sea oil companies.”
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