UPDATED JULY 2013
NMAG recognises the necessity of taxing vehicle fuels as part of essential taxation for national administration and as part of a larger objective of reducing the environmental impacts of fossil fuels. However, fuel taxation in the UK has reached a level that is beyond reason and manifestly damaging to private motorists and businesses of every kind, especially those which depend on fuel to transport their goods. Worst of all, the UK’s extreme levels of fuel taxation are counter-productive and damaging to the national economy.
NMAG’s view is that the relentless escalation of fuel taxation by the present and prior Governments is driven by the economic and social logic of the madhouse.
We applaud the energetic lobbying by the FairfuelUK campaigners and others and by some of the national press but we are dismayed (as they also are) by the negligible effect it has had so far because of governmental intransigence.
NMAG sees the extreme taxation of motor vehicle users by means of fuel taxes as being the same form of abuse as the Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) which was imposed solely for the provision and maintenance of roads as a “Road Fund Licence” with only a small part of it now being used for that purpose. The motorist is seen by our out-of-reality Governments as a captive cow that can be milked to the limit (just as it is with parking enforcement).
The UK taxation of petrol and diesel fuel in the UK is excessive to an extreme degree which creates the inclusion of massive delivery costs into all goods with the consequential excessive pricing of all goods in the shops (including food).
NMAG’s problems with fuel tax and fuel duty
Excessive fuel taxation is damaging our society and is grossly unfair in its effects:
It impacts severely on the heavily-stretched budgets of many families, especially those who have no choice but to use their cars for essential travel. It is nothing short of punitive for many living in rural areas and for small businesses which are forced to travel distances in rural areas and are struggling to remain solvent.
For taxi and minicab drivers whose business costs are related heavily to fuel price and for all those forced to use their cars for their work activities and for travelling to work the severe and increasing tax-take is the equivalent of a substantial hike in their income tax.
Small bus companies, especially those serving rural communities with large distances and small numbers of passengers, have difficulty in maintaining viable services with some having been forced to cease operation thereby causing rural social hardship largely because of the swingeing taxation applied to their fuel.
Some commercial haulage operators have been forced to close business simply because of excessive fuel taxation which has made it unprofitable to continue. Their operating profit margin is typically just 2-3% with fuel accounting typically for about 40% of their costs. By contrast, visiting continental truck operators rarely take on fuel in the UK and operate their identical businesses when in the UK at much lower and more realistic costs. UK hauliers are being comparatively penalised in their own country by their own government.
One well-known major UK haulier who delivers foodstuffs to our supermarkets spends £100,000,000 each year on diesel fuel – yes £100M – with over half of that going to the Exchequer in taxation and paid for by motorists and everyone else in the price we pay in the shops.
Pay tax on your fuel – twice!
We are taxed twice every time we buy fuel.
A ‘fuel duty’ is added to petrol and diesel fuel as soon as it has been processed (that’s ‘tax’ in our language) and you have to pay that duty tax every time you buy fuel.
This duty is just under 60p for every litre – and the Government seems likely to increase that even though a temporary reprieve has been granted (as a result of public and campaigning protest)
Then there is the additional VAT (Value-Added Tax) when you buy at the pump. It used to be 17.5% but it’s been at 20% for a long time. Little by little these taxes all creep up.
The VAT is bad enough in itself but this tax is applied to the fuel duty tax! ! We are being taxed on the duty tax you we are forced to pay! Value Added Tax at 20% is being paid on the imaginary Value the Government would have us believe is Added by the imposition of the exorbitant fuel duty. Totally Alice in Wonderland (but she wasn't into racketeering and it isn't funny).
Altogether, at the present time, for every £100 you pay on petrol and diesel fuel more than half of it goes in tax. You will have paid nearly £60 in tax. To fill a supermarket delivery truck with 300 litres of diesel fuel will cost the company more than £240 in tax which is added and then marked up into the price you have to pay for your vegetables, bread, and everything else in the store – and that’s if you or others in your family don’t even drive a car.
The taxation of vehicle fuel in the UK far exceeds that in the rest of the EU countries.
October 2011 data from the Centre for Policy Studies shows that the UK duty on diesel fuel is more than 50% higher than it is in France – which is just on the other side of the tunnel.
UK duty on diesel fuel is more than twice that in the cheapest EU countries. So much for the ‘benefit’ of being in the ‘common market'.
For more detailed information you can visit The petrol Prices Website.
Reference and comparative data on retail prices and taxation of road fuels is published periodically by Parliament. The current data are listed in Standard Note SN/SG/2638.
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