I don't understand the blizzard of surveys that say all is well in the financial rose garden. You'd think we were through the worst, on the home stretch and approaching the final furlong. But talk to anybody out there and they say there's a disconnect between what they're being told and how they feel. A BBC ComRes poll this week confirms what I'm seeing and hearing - people definitely aren't feeling better off. And in the same week every taxi driver, restaurant boss, publican and shop assistant I spoke to here in the Midlands said the same thing. So far this year has been a massive challenge.
And why are the supermarkets struggling? If the recovery was really underway Sainsbury wouldn't have had a 3.1% sales decline this quarter - the biggest fall since 2005. Tescos and Morrisons aren't faring well either so the crucial barometer of consumer economic activity - supermarkets - tells a different story from all the surveys. And here at FairFuelUK we hear a rising refrain of unsupportable transport costs, too much disposable income being spent at the pumps, consumers feeling forced to reduce driving and the increasingly frightening £70 fill up.
That's why I believe its so important for The Chancellor to create a feeling of increased confidence and a cushion against future oil price rises in this difficult period by cutting fuel duty by 3p. This gesture would send an important sign that he understands the electorate's fuel costs, make us feel more confident and stimulate some badly-need consumer spending. Cutting the tax on bingo helps nobody, reducing the duty on fuel helps everybody. And he really shouldn't be listening to all those self-serving surveys.
We sent a Letter to the Times 18th March 2014 (right) today, so we hope that the Political elite read it and take our request for a 3p Fuel Duty cut seriously.