As the oil price spirals upwards the Conservative Shadow Chancellor proposes (‘Tories offer to ‘share the pain’ of fuel bills with variable duty’, Monday July 7th) that the government should effectively fix the price of Petrol and Diesel by lowering duty on these fuels when the market price is this high, thus seemingly insulating car drivers from any international price rise.
The price of oil is rising because demand is rising, while oil production is not rising. If one reduces fuel duty when the price of oil rises, then one is in effect trying to hide from this underlying problem, of the finite supply of oil in the Earth. One is then blunting the ‘price signal’ that might actually reduce (that is already starting to reduce) the usage of oil; one is encouraging the guzzling of oil, at this time when its use at such high rates cannot be sustained. This is un-green politics at its worst.
Fuel used for transport accounts for over 20% of CO2 emissions in this country, and rising. So once again Mr. Osborne has seemingly forgotten the supposed Conservative pledge to safeguard the environment. The only thing that a temporary drop in fuel prices can do is to delay the much needed change of behaviour from all of us when it comes to our energy-intensive lifestyles.
The Shadow Chancellor is looking at the polls and not his supposed commitments. Who is wearing the flip-flops now?!