Thursday, August 30, 2012

The French have outsmarted us. In a bold and popular move, Francois Hollande has vowed to reduce fuel duty by 6 cents per litre to help the struggling Gallic economy. He's also going to get French fuel suppliers to share the cost with government and is talking about finding a permanent solution to rising domestic fuel costs. Some may say that France's agrarian economy relies heavily on diesel, but the reality is that Hollande knows that cash-strapped French consumers and businesses can't afford record fuel prices of 1.46 Euros. If the French can't afford to drive, they won't spend and the wheels of consumerism will slow dramatically.


But what's so embarrassing about all this is the breathless speed of the French reforms. I've been in France for the last month and their recession has only just started to kick-in. Shops are only just starting to have sales and reducing ticket prices. There's been no campaigns, no petitions, no strikes about fuel. Hollande and his advisors have just looked at the financial landscape and come to the obvious and urgent conclusion - economic growth will go down if you allow fuel prices to go up. But you don't need to be Voltaire to understand that one.


Our politicians though don't seem to have the clarity of vision of Monsieur Hollande, because here in the UK we're paying around 20p more per litre than the French so the cost to our economy of mounting fuel prices is even more serious. So who would have thought it? A minor French functionary who, before he was elected President went to work on a scooter, has quickly rolled out a growth policy that will massively benefit the French economy and hugely increase his political popularity. And he's done it in a Socialist country that doesn't really like cars and one that has an infinitely better public transport infrastructure than we do. What are we in the UK doing so wrong that we can't get our government to understand the perils of their current insane fuel duty policy? Vive La Republique.




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[ posted by Thomas Wilson, 30.08.12 15:08 ]

The French are doing the right thing by their people and their Prime Minister has seen the folly of these hiked taxes. Its time We stood up against our governments and I meam governments as whatever party is in taxes us to the hilt... We Must do something and quickly as our prices for shipping produce is going to increase goods at retail and thats where we pay more... In my area alone the cost of fuel has went up over 5p per litre in the last few weeks., but the reduced cost per barrel has never brought the prices down... This excuse we buy our fuel in advance is tosh and only stupid people believe this now...
We need drastic strike actions and rallies to get the governments to see what the people need is reduced prices at the pumps.

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[ posted by Barry Peters, 30.08.12 15:18 ]

For too long the uk politicians have seen oil fuel,and road fuel in particular as the golden goose, they should reduce the taxation rate to a more realistic level, as have the French Goverment, or they may well find the goose could stop laying eggs!, Various parties in the UK have used poorly thought out arguments to justify their fuel tax policies, isnt it about time they actually applied some common sense?, or as I suspect is that beyond the grasp of our politicians

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[ posted by C. Glazebrook, 30.08.12 15:19 ]

What the UK government appears to have forgotten, or maybe are too dense to realise, is that goods come into the UK by road with thousands of foreign trucks entering the country every day. Unless the truck driver is a complete novice, which is very unlikely, they will ALL fill up in France before boarding the ferry or shuttle. Long distance trucks will usually have at least 1000 litre tanks, some 2000litre. With a price difference of about 25ppl. (now) they are saving between £250.00 & £500.00 per truck by not buying UK fuel. With 1000litres of diesel at 7MPG they can cover about 1500miles before they need to refuel, more than enough to deliver and get back to France to refill their tanks. A few years again ferry companies and the shuttle ran "Fuel trips" for UK haulage operators in the south east to go to Belgium to fill up their tanks; even with the cost of the ferry on top it was still cheaper than buying diesel here. The result of the Government policy on fuel duty is that France gets the fuel tax and the UK the pollution!

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[ posted by Chris Heywood, 30.08.12 18:06 ]

I'ts not just the French that are one step ahead, it's most of Europe! The August European Fuel prices show only 4 countries charging more for diesel than unleaded. That's Cyprus, Hungary, Romania and the UK. Also, in the UK the margin on Diesel is 28% higher than it is on unleaded and, compared to the average EU price, UK unleaded is 10% higer and Diesel 21% higher. It's no wonder the economy is stagnating and we can't afford to travel.

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[ posted by patrick a harris, 31.08.12 16:39 ]

as usual the bods in government are slow to recognise a good move,and at the moment are hiding behind the olympic games!,which takes the publics mind off of them,and they can just swan along with the heat off of them!.

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[ posted by Colin Campbell, 10.09.12 13:32 ]

All fuel bidders should be forced to take physical delivery of bids and not allowed to re-serll before the delivery time. which allows speculation Just common sense! Gas and electric are personally delivered through pipes to consumers, not collected as required but the speculators still manage to sell to themselves at least once before finally reaching the user. The whole system is unfortunately riddled with private and corporate individuals that think anything is fair to raise a fast buck despite the fact that they are the last to need it!

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[ posted by Mike King, 10.09.12 16:52 ]

"Bus & Coach Professional" magazine has for years been publishing monthly average UK diesel prices per region and also listing the average European pump diesel prices. These show that UK diesel is on average between 45p and 20p per litre dearer than the continental equivalent! (between Luxembourg & Switzerland in the current August 2012 example) Scandinavian countries are the only ones to come close to UK prices. Think what a difference those lesser prices could make to UK workers and voters regular expenditure and to the UK economy, let along to the public transport and road transport industry! The reason for this huge disparity is, I suspect, not just the gambling that goes on in the UK oil commodity market etc., but also due to the massive tax bill added to our fuel pump prices.
So apart from just demanding enquiries and fuel cost/tax reductions (laudable aims though they may be) we also have to offer up suggestions as to HOW and WHERE public expenditure can be reduced to cut back the demands for public taxation. At first site that seems a tricky exercise, but let me give you some clues. How much longer are we going to play World's policemen with our military assets? We seem to be locked into regular ongoing conflicts that have and are costing us billions of pounds - let alone thousands of decent young lives and serious injuries. Secondly, I do not recall 30 years ago half all of the current obsession with minute detail and political correctness that we have today. It is no laughing matter - because the true cost of all this often ludicrous additional buerocracy is now also running at billions of pounds per anum. If we did not need it then, why do we need so much of it now - creating thousands of costly "non-jobs" that we taxpayers must fund? The third clue comes from the fact that much of our high public expenditure results from EU demands, regulations and agreements .... draw your own conclusions as to what we can do about that!
Stop ripping off Britains!

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[ posted by michael grant, 13.09.12 08:58 ]

I LIKE THE FRENCH THEY ARE NOT WOLLEY P.C.s THEY GET A PROBLEM AND PROTEST AND TRY TO PUT IT RIGHT,SADELY NOT LIKE US THE BRITISH !!! THEY HAVE THE BACKBONE TO PROTEST AND MAKE THEMSELVES HEARD,AND THEIRE GOVERMENT NOW IS RESPONDING,GOOD ON THEM !!PERHAPS WE SHOULD FOLLOW !!!

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