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Monday, 11 September, 2000, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Escalating petrol prices - who's to blame?

The cost of petrol looks likely to rise - with oil fetching its highest price on the international markets for a decade.

Some forecasts say drivers in the UK could be paying up to four pence more per litre by the weekend.

Petrol pumps are running dry in France as farmers block oil refineries in protest at the high fuel costs.

The European Union has urged the oil-producing countries belonging to Opec to increase production to bring prices down. But Opec says European governments have only themselves to blame for charging too much tax.

Who do you think is to blame and what should be done? Send us your views.

This debate is now closed. You can read a selection of your views below. Or you can contribute to our new Talking Point:

Should the UK Government act over the petrol protests?


It's a real pain having petrol stations running dry with the risk of not being able to make it to work. However, I think it's worth it to make the government see that they cannot continue to fleece the British public with these extortionate levels of tax.
Chris Dunne, UK


There's only one thing to remember about fuel tax - that every motorist has a vote

Allen, UK
There's only one thing to remember about fuel tax - that every motorist has a vote! Let's ALL use it wisely next time, to remove a government that came to power under false pretences, and which has over-taxed and over-regulated the long-suffering majority ever since. Oh, by the way, please stop giving any further credence to the notion that excessive fuel taxation is environmentally motivated? Even Mr. Blair has shown that to be a complete untruth...
Allen, UK

When we complained about car prices to the EEC they told the parties responsible for the higher prices to cut the cost or face fines. Why don't we ask them to do the same with petrol prices. The EEC believe in trying to have a level playing field, our government like us to play up hill and in to the wind, it's time for them to listen to the people who employ them the people of the UK.
Jonathan Offler, UK

Higher prices do not reduce car usage. According to previous comments, the UK has the highest fuel prices in Europe, yet also the highest per capita car ownership. The only way to reduce car usage is to invest in a massive way in public transport. Make the trains cheaper, and more importantly, more efficient and convenient, then maybe I'll start using them.
Unfortunately, the money has to come from somewhere, so high fuel taxes have to stay. But is it fair to tax commercial transport so heavily and then spend the money on the means to replace it. I'm afraid my solution is higher tax on personal fuel, but let's give the transport companies a break.
Robin Withey, UK


It is utterly insulting to the British public that so much of what we pay for petrol is tax

Gillian Carcas, England
It is utterly insulting to the British public that so much of what we pay for petrol is tax. If all the tax we paid on petrol actually went to maintain and upgrade our road system it wouldn't be so bad, but we all know that that's not what happens. The Government could solve the problem quite easily by slashing tax on fuel and they know it - but then where would they raise the money to keep pouring into appallingly wasteful and largely useless projects like the Millennium Dome?
Gillian Carcas, England

Petrol is more expensive here but at least we have a first class public transport system. UK is too large to provide a decent PTS for the whole country. I say TAX by regional density. Tax London more than the rural areas. Also, bring in road tolls. As long as this Tax is used to build better public transport and cleaner technology, it should be OK with everyone. Our children's children are relying on us to preserve the eco-system for them. Tax on fuel is a short-term sacrifice for health of our kids. Stop the WHINGING!
Anthony Brooker, Hong Kong


I believe in the protests and the government should heed the will of the people

Steve Williams, Australia
I believe in the protests and the government should heed the will of the people that they are no longer willing to accept such high levels of tax on fuel. Governments have to learn, they are put there by the people supposedly for the people. I concede there are green issues that need to be addressed and a cleaner fuel must be sought as a matter of priority, I think even the road haulage industry would agree with that. It is no use bashing the haulage industry by saying they cause pollution, they are noisy, they are dangerous but without them the country would collapse. So right now there should be some immediate reduction in fuel prices for everybody, and there should also be a considerable essential user rebate system for the Road Haulage Industry as well as reductions in VED to avoid business's having to close and workers loosing there jobs.
Steve Williams, Australia

Please remember that every time the cost of fuel goes up, then so does the cost of food. What do you think powers the tractors and combines that harvest your food or the trucks that transport it to the supermarkets? We complain about the 300% tax on fuel for transport, but remember you are also paying part of that tax with every potato you buy.
Barry Getty, UK

How can anyone put blame at the door of OPEC? The same litre of the same fuel for the same cars from the same pumps costs much less elsewhere in the world. That is due to tax levied by the administration, not any increases in price or reductions in production from OPEC. It's like telling tobacco firms to slash their prices because tax is high. What right have we got to tell the OPEC states what to do? They sell oil just as we sell goods to the rest of the world. They are a business, not a charity to help out Tony Blair when he wants to profiteer.
Rhys, UK

Being a person who lives in a remote part of the UK and also having a severely handicapped daughter, I have to use a car as public transport is almost non-existent. The cost to me every week by using a car is so high that it is almost out of my reach but unfortunately I have no alternative but to buy petrol. If the Chancellor was in my situation would he still have the same views?
June Fletcher, Wales

Why bother with alternative fuels? The new kinds of fuel will just be taxed instead... the UK government would tax water if that made your car go! Gordon Brown's announcement on 9 Sept that the government would not be swayed by blockades is just another way of saying that it will not listen to any protests about the pain and problems they're causing, so don't even bother trying getting in their way. Lets face it, in France blockading roads gets concessions - in Britain it'd just get you arrested!
John R, UK


The tax take on fuel needs to be addressed, and the government needs to accept that it has to listen.

David Page, UK
This country is one of the most highly taxed nations in the world. We have a government whose only interest at the moment is securing the next general election. This means stuffing billions into the tax coffers, for bribes and giveaways. The tax take on fuel needs to be addressed, and the government needs to accept that it has to listen. I hope that this is yet another nail in their electoral coffin.
David Page, UK


Blockades can only mean higher costs in the long run for everyone

Val Phillips, Wales
I been out today to pick up my daughter and was amazed to see the queues of motorists sitting in their cars waiting to grab as much fuel as they can before the pumps run dry. Don't they realise that their panic and disregard for the needs of all the other motorists on the road helps to create the spreading shortages? We will ALL be left in a no win situation - and we won't have any fuel either. Blockades can only mean higher costs in the long run for everyone. The government, already unpopular, have to compromise soon. Remember the poll tax protests? Please stop panic buying- you are making a bad situation worse.
Val Phillips, Wales

So it's the rising cost of crude oil that's pushing petrol prices up, is it? Would someone like to give a plausible explanation, then, of when crude was under $10 a barrel petrol in the UK didn't fall to suit? Claiming that "the raw material is such a small proportion of the cost at the pumps" really doesn't convince me; the effect of an oil price rise always has an effect - on the motorist's pocket!
"Ognash", Qatar

It is always easy and safe to blame the government. But have you car-owners ever thought to ask car-manufacturers one simple question: why are we still, after so many decades, dependent on ridiculously old-fashioned internal-combustion engine? Maybe this time Mr. Blair is innocent.
Janne, Finland

Oh, more moaning about fuel tax. Don't the public realise that we need oil to make more important things than fuel for cars?
William, UK


The government should use petrol tax to fund more sustainable transport

Jimbo, UK
The UK is a small country with a high population density. Petroleum resources are finite. The UK has lower personal and corporate taxes than most European countries. The govt should use petrol tax to fund more sustainable transport HOWEVER most people can reduce their petrol consumption by lifestyle choices. Don't drive half a mile to buy a paper. Try walking, cycling, using public transport. If you have to use a car, try sharing or pooling. I have cycled 20 miles each way to work (in winter) for a brief period when I had no other choice. I didn't like it - but it didn't kill me.
Jimbo, UK

I'm delighted that some truck drivers are blockading refineries here in the U.K. The public should support this. I would favour some sort of fund to be set up to accept public donations to be used to meet financial commitments and support the families of these drivers. They need our support ! Who would do it ?
Ray, UK

The current protests really annoy me. Of course all drivers would like to pay less for fuel. However, no one is asking where the money should come from. Should income taxes be raised by a penny in the pound? Or should the planned increases in NHS and education spending be cancelled? Given that we are producing greenhouse gases at an unsustainable rate, surely we should tax things that are undesirable (such as burning fossil fuels) rather than things that are desirable (such as income). I for one would be happy to see petrol prices increase in return for a reduction in income tax.
Alex Terrell, UK / Germany


I can barely justify working now that it costs so much to get there and back

Carl, UK
I am shocked by some of the attitudes of people here, "Why not walk" etc... I have a 40 mile round trip to work and back. Public transport isn't viable right now: its dirty, slow, unreliable and dangerous. The government have had years to improve the situation but they haven't. I can barely justify working now that it costs so much to get there and back. Due to various taxes I can't even afford to save enough to move.
Carl, UK

There have been wars for a lot less than securing cheap resources for a nation(s).
Mike, UK

Rising costs in crude oil have simply highlighted the extent to which this deeply dishonest government has been fleecing the motorist. Interesting, isn't it that both the transport spokesmen are "Lords", i.e. un-elected Tony's cronies.
John, England

Rob of the UK claims that if Petrol Prices fall then the NHS will suffer. Complete rubbish; this is a typical move by the PM and people like Rob swallow it whole and then spout it out like gospel (he's clearly a bit too "New" Labour). The NHS should be paid for by Income Tax, which nobody can avoid. If Petrol pays for the NHS then the poor, sick, rural and dependents pay for it instead of the whole nation. If the govt needs more for the NHS then be honest, say so and raise income tax.
Sandy, London, UK


It's about time the whole country united - car drivers too - to cause some disruption

Richard Chamberlain, UK
This government has tried to price vehicles off the roads, and got away with if for long enough now, and if everybody used public transport, it would not cope anyway as it cannot cope now. It's about time the whole country united - car drivers too to cause some disruption. I am not normally in favour of radical actions like these, but it appears the only way you seem to get heard by Mr Blair and his dictators is by doing this sort if thing.
Richard Chamberlain, UK

Forget talking about 75% tax. The raw price of petrol in 20p; fuel tax and VAT add 60p to bring it to the current 80p. That makes the overall tax burden 300%. NOTHING should be taxed at that rate - end of argument. The nature of fuel tax is seriously regressive - it hits the poorest and most needy worst. People like me who do lots of travel with our work get the cost back, and big executives and government ministers usually get ALL of their fuel paid for them. Tax the poor to the benefit of the rich - where's your social justice now Tony?
Mark, Scotland

In the U.S., during the Second World War, a sign at every petrol pump asked, "Is this trip necessary?" The problem with this kind of concerted, government-sponsored program of self-restraint today is that the world's so-called "energy" (oil companies) who are as much a "cartel would never permit it.
Louis Massano, U.S.A.


We should be doing far more research on alternative (non-fossil) fuels and we should have started 35 years ago

Mark Stone, Canada
Remember the "fuel crisis" of the early 1970's? How about the Gulf War, remember that? Now we are being held hostage by OPEC once again. Who is to blame? The public and the governments they elect are to blame. We should be doing far more research on alternative (non-fossil) fuels and we should have started 35 years ago. The technology now exists to replace fossil fuels, all that is required is the political will!
Mark Stone, Canada

Given that the UK pays more for fuel than any other western country I can think of, I would certainly not blame the oil producers given that most of the public has no idea of the ridiculously low price of refined petrol. I would certainly encourage that people pressured the current administration as well as investigate alternate fuel sources though.
Curtis, UK

The time is now right to ban the internal combustion engine. For each model of car on British roads the manufacturers should be forced to design an electric motor and batteries to fill the engine compartment. The cost of replacing the motors could be offset by selling them to communities in the developing world, to be used as generators for more useful purposes. The slower cars would also be safer, quieter and OPEC would cease to have any influence over the UK.
M.Browne, UK


Environmental fanatics are always whinging on about pollution and motor vehicles

Chris Porritt, England
Environmental fanatics are always whinging on about pollution and motor vehicles. OK lets put it to the test and ban all vehicles which use petrol/diesel from tomorrow and go back to the horse and cart. What would happen ? Chaos!! No food in the supermarkets, no fire engines to put out fires, no ambulances to take the injured to hospital. Who would be the first to complain if this happened? The "green" fanatic, that is who.
Chris Porritt, England

For many like myself we agree that taxes have to come from somewhere to pay for public services. Yet every time OPEC raise prices Mr Brown rubs his hands together as this is extra tax on top of what he budgeted for, so my argument is if he has all this extra money how would he have coped had crude oil prices remained static? I would love to leave my car at home but I can't get to work on public transport because there simply is no service to my work location.
Roger Newman, England

People always seem to forget one thing when complaining about fuel taxes in the UK. In many other countries you pay road tolls to use the motorways, and I am sure this more than compensates for the lower fuel prices in these other countries. Does anyone ever think about the massive pollution cost of driving a car?
Ian Bartlett, UK

Remember the 1970s when the UK had loads of industrial strikes? They used to call it 'the English disease'. Well given the current state of play in France and the way it is set to cripple their industry, are we now experiencing 'the French disease'? Just a thought.
Trevor Gibson, UK


Don't give up your car, it is no where near as bad for the environment as the loony left would have us think

Ian Thomas, England
The government have for too long used the ravings of the so called greens to rake in further money from the people of this country.
It is about time the fiction of global warning and transport derived pollution was put to rest and our government be forced into reducing the greedy taxation on our fuel. Use your push bike (I do), use public transport (where available) but don't give up your car, it is no where near as bad for the environment as the loony left would have us think.
Ian Thomas, England

All this may be just a hint of what is to come. We cannot use finite resources without some limitation. However, if cheap fuel, and thus cheap travel becomes a thing of the past, people may be "forced" to live and work in small communities, and may just be happier as a result.
Jim, UK

The people to blame are the British electorate. They demand low income tax and high value public services. So where is the money meant to come from??? You can't have your cake and eat it.
Simon, UK

Get on the Underground and travel across the Circle/District line at 9am or 5pm and I guarantee that you will be willing to pay absolutely any amount in tax in order to never do that journey again.
Dean, London, UK


A much better way of getting revenue from drivers would be to charge daytime tolls to traffic who wish to access major city centres

Hazel, UK
The price per barrel rises with inflation as usual. Individual governments add tax at varying rates. A much better way of getting revenue from drivers would be to charge daytime tolls to traffic who wish to access major city centres, making only emergency vehicles exempt. The revenue gained can go towards upkeep of roads and local transport schemes where public transport is lacking.
Hazel, UK

I was so pleased to see the news report this morning of the Cheshire farmers, who are doing what they can to protest against this by blocking the entrance to a fuel refinery. We've got to see more of this across the UK if we are to get our message over to the Government. Gordon Brown is nothing more than a modern day Dick Turpin who is committing blatant Highway Robbery against us all, each and every day.
Alex, Scotland

All of those smug cyclists and walkers make me mad. I have a nephew who has sever cerebral palsy. His mother has to drive more than 80 miles a day to take him to school and back again. As a result his mother is taxed much more heavily than if her son were able to attend a 'normal' school.
It is not fair. As for the link between diesel particulates and asthma, this is unproven.
Jim Hutton, UK & France


If the governments tax income falls, it WILL have to cut back on services such as the NHS

Rob, UK
Whilst it would be great to see the tax on petrol reduced, or maybe just used for public transport improvement, we must realise that if one tax is reduced, another must be increased. If the governments tax income falls, it WILL have to cut back on services such as the NHS. I'm sure an increase in Income tax would cause more public outrage...
Rob, UK


This is not a free country, we are being robbed and where is the money going?

Jim Bevan, UK
I am a truck owner/ driver, just one truck, and I worked out today that I am a £40000 a year soft-touch for this Government. That is just fuel, road and income tax. This does not include the tax on my fags and beer, which incidentally I need to keep me from going bonkers at the stress of driving on the cart tracks we call roads here. This is not a free country, we are being robbed and where is the money going?
Jim Bevan, UK

What is so revealing here is the neo-Calvinism of the 'Greens'. Clearly, their underlying motivation isn't about people, it's about the hair-shirt pleasures of self-denial. Bicycles and public transport are irrelevant to rural life, in which people either use cars or are cast back into the lifestyle of the first half of the last century. Though it's painful to admit it, the French are right. Governments that are too arrogant to listen must be made to listen.
Gary, England

The sooner the price of petrol goes up the better off we will be, because new energy forms will not be developed while oil is economically viable. New energy forms will probably be more expensive than oil, at least initially, but they may be more acceptable environmentally.
Roger Herrera, Alaska, USA

I live in the Queensland outback approx 600 Km west of Brisbane and am paying about 34 of your pence per litre. In Aussie dollars about $1.05/l or about 2 pounds per gallon. Every time I go to fill the tank (when I can afford to) the price has gone up again. I have an option to walk I suppose but 60km round trip makes the options fairly limited. I commiserate with you!
Leo Sharpe, Australia


What about those who heat their homes with oil?

Martin, Canada
You people seem to think the only use for oil is automobiles. What about those who heat their homes with oil? Here, there are going to be a lot of pensioners who can't afford to heat their homes this winter.
Martin, Canada

We seem to have this sense of entitlement for conflicting conveniences. We want low fuel prices, a clean environment, convenient public transportation, etc. Based on the current economy and governmental policies, these objectives are not always achievable and we seem to be too short-sighted to address them with the future in mind.
Dana De Nault, USA

I have just returned from Libya where I was working at an oil terminal. In the township several kilometres away the local people had an above ground fuel tank that held approximately 20kl. There was a hose with petrol nozzle, and a large tin hanging by the side of it where you paid for the fuel on an honour system. The charge for the fuel was approximately $0.07, or about £0.04 per litre! Now what would you like to tell me about the price of fuel?
Curtis, UK

We support the action of the French drivers etc (and I'm a true-blue Tory businessman). If only we could be more like them.
Rchard Ward, UK

Our governments have systematically wrecked our public transport systems over the past few years - so how can we use what no longer exists? Give us reliable public transport and I'm sure many people would rejoice in NOT having to use their too-expensive private cars.
Abigail, UK


The French sure know how to complain about rising fuel prices!

Steve Smith, UK
We complain about them, we call them names, we say that they are uncivilised, but boy do we envy them. The French sure know how to complain about rising fuel prices!
Steve Smith, UK

Placing high taxes on petrol in an attempt to cut pollution is like trying to kill a fly with a hammer. A much more sensible policy is either to tax road use in heavily congested areas (like central London) or to think very carefully about road design.
Alexander, UK

OPEC are certainly no fools. They choose their times very carefully too. 1973 was the time when the US became net importers of oil and since then they have been prudent. There is no reason to suspect that they are not being prudent now. No US political party has ever tried for government on the promise of raising gas prices to a realistic figure. Need I go on?
Ray Glendinning, UK

In the US we are taxed for petroleum products as you are in the UK. I don't know your tax rate but in the US the figure is a fixed percentage per gallon. In my opinion the blame for escalating prices can be placed squarely on OPEC. As far as we in the US are concerned when OPEC increases production the price comes down just as the price goes up when they cut back.
Ted Althaus, USA

Wise up people! Start peddling, start walking, feel the benefits both to your health and wallet.
Hussein, England

I left the UK for Canada four months ago. The petrol price here has risen by about 40% in that time. The Canadians complain bitterly about this, although it's still less than 40 pence per litre. Despite the expense they still like their BIG cars and they drive them FAST.
Jan, Canada

New Labour should stop blaming "the previous administration" for the fuel tax escalator, as they have continued and even increased the rate of petrol tax hikes! What we need is a concerted public campaign - yes, using blockades if necessary - to show Tony that we can't be treated like dirt.
Hinesh Rajani, UK


We're all to blame for allowing ourselves to become dependent on a dirty, inefficient source of power

Simon, UK
We're all to blame for allowing ourselves to become dependent on a dirty, inefficient source of power, whose suppliers can hold us to ransom. I wonder how many of those whinging are simply too lazy to get off their backsides and either walk or ride a bicycle occasionally.
Simon, UK

I live 32 miles from the nearest big town. I have to live here because I work here, but because there is only one bus an hour which takes an hour to get to the town, I have to use my car. Why is it fair that I should be forced to pay high taxes when I have no option but to use my car. This is a direct attack on rural life. Which by the way is the backbone of this country.
Andrew, Scotland

I also am laughing my head off at all these whiners as I also do not have a car. Petrol should be even more expensive than it is to compensate for all the damage its use does. I'm willing to debate this with anyone but most car owners refuse to acknowledge the damage their filthy contraption has done to the world.
I. Turzanski, Netherlands

You British accept rip-off prices for everything ranging from cars, CDs, replica football shirts. Now your government is ripping you off over fuel. What are you gonna do about it?? Put up or shut up!!
Michael Cross, Sweden


We have to appreciate that some resources are finite and we have had too much of a good thing

Neil H, UK
Prices are rising because the world is running out of oil and environmental legislation has rightly increased refining costs - nothing can be done about this and taxation levels are a short-term, marginal issue.
Hopefully, rising prices will provide a catalyst for more research into alternative energy sources, preparing us for the day - not far off - when there will be no petrol at any price.
As a car lover, I don't really like it, but we have to appreciate that some resources are finite and we have had too much of a good thing.
Neil H, UK

Frankly, I couldn't care less. A fine example, the French truckers and farmers have set - brining the entire country to its knees. I don't call that democracy.
Simon Proven, UK


I'm just waiting for the smuggling of petrol to begin!!

Richard, UK
The French certainly go overboard occasionally with their strikes but full marks to them on this one. The price of petrol is crippling to many in this country. I wonder how long Gordon Brown would last on an average wage and paying for his own petrol?
It's about time the so-called prudent Chancellor used a bit of common sense in his policies. I'm just waiting for the smuggling of petrol to begin!!
Richard, UK

The people to blame are the GOVERNMENT for taking 72% of petrol costs in tax. Tony claims that this is to pay for the NHS - rubbish. Labour tax petrol because they hate motorists. We, all taxpayers, should pay for the NHS through our income tax. Putting tax on petrol hits the poor, the elderly and those in rural areas. I'm afraid that this is Mr Blair's poll-tax-on-wheels and he'll regret it come polling day. I know who I won't be voting for anymore.
Antony Little, UK

Unlucky greedy, polluting motorists wedded to your tin boxes! Get out and walk!
Steve, Bristol, UK

The public are to blame you just sit back and accept it. It's your country run by the people you voted for, now tell them you want lower fuel tax.....Mean time I'm paying just 98p a gallon!
K. Jackson, USA ex UK


Let's get a level playing field with Europe and standardise this aspect of taxation

Julian, UK
Clearly it's the government. As the majority of the cost comes from them, the majority of the blame must lie there too. We can argue over the success or failure of this tax policy but let's get a level playing field with Europe and standardise this aspect of taxation with the rest of the community so we all pay the same whatever that may be.
Julian, UK

It's not Opec's fault. It's not government's fault. It's the fuel companies, who pay around 27$ for a certain amount of fuel and make over 100$ with that same quantity. Who could blame Opec for rising prices?
David Walsh, Québec, Canada


We cannot just burn up every drop of fossil fuel in double quick tim

Andrew Day, UK
Human beings are to blame! We cannot just burn up every drop of fossil fuel in double quick time, and at least the politicians are trying to make people realise this (except in the USA).
Unfortunately our social, transport and commercial structures have all been developed on the premise of unlimited cheap personal transport. This is no longer realistic, but new technologies such as the Internet should mean we don't have to 'return to the past'.
Andrew Day, UK

It is so annoying the amount of protest which is occurring in France yet we in Britain will not even support a protest like the boycott in August. The French are paying less than ourselves and are prepared to fight their corner, so should we. We should be at least brought into line with our friends across the Channel
Leighton Williams, Britain

It is stupid and very short sighted if the government do not lower taxation on fuel - everything thing that concerns the economy is regulated by fuel as food, clothes, heating, fishing, transport are all affected by fuel costs.
Edward O'Riordan, United Kingdom


When the oil is gone we'll use solar power

George Mealor, United States of America
Opec's prices are not too high. This is their prime natural resource and when the oil is gone what will they have left? The government is just trying to tax you out of your car and into using public transportation. When the oil is gone we'll use solar power.
George Mealor, United States of America

This price fixing cartel should be treated the same way as any other price fixing cartel.
Malc, Turkey

How can the Government claim to be keeping inflation down while the cost of Petrol continues to rocket. ALL FUEL should be included in Inflation figures because unlike Mr Blair we have to pay for it!
Peter S, Great Britain


Perhaps if the tax on fuel went towards solving the problems (better mass transit, for instance) it would be tolerable

Blake, Atlanta, USA
We may be paying lower prices than the rest of the world, but personally, I'm still paying twice now what I paid for fuel this time last year. I wouldn't call that being 'given away'. And if we Americans are unwilling to tolerate tax increases, how precisely is that a bad thing? Yes, automobiles do contribute to environmental damage.
Perhaps if the tax on fuel went towards solving the problems (better mass transit, for instance) it would be tolerable, but I'm unwilling to pay yet more tax that gets wasted on stupid spending programs that the politicians use to buy votes.
Blake, Atlanta, USA

The government is to blame - they want us to use public transport, and hope that with high prices we will change. Every time the oil price goes up the public transport fares go up as well! Some encouragement! As it still means I pay more for public transport than using the car!
Tim, England

Oh please Richard from London: UK petrol prices are sky high but the villain of the piece is the USA! The simple fact is that, like so much else, you British are getting ripped-off. And any idea that your outrageous taxes on petrol is "green friendly" is belied by the fact that per capita motorcar use in the UK is just about the highest in the world; more than the USA.
When the British say enough to being taxed to death and stop electing politicians who think government is the answer to all your worries, then you can have sensible petrol prices. By the way Richard, this American doesn't even know how to drive and gets around on an English Raleigh 3-speed and public transit.
Peter C. Kohler, USA

Fantastic! The increases in petrol prices continue to drive the poor off the road, leaving more space for me to enjoy driving my gas guzzling jag. More, more!
Neil, England


Even if the government cuts taxes, prices will continue to rise unless the price of oil is reduced

Ian Bailey, UK
Too much blame is put on the high tax on petrol. Yes it is high, but the price of oil has just hit a 10-year high. Even if the government cuts taxes, prices will continue to rise unless the price of oil is reduced.
The oil producers never pass price reductions on to the motorist. They are as guilty of profiteering as the government, and they get away with it time after time.
Ian Bailey, UK

I am a consultant covering over 35,000 business miles each year and have seen by annual fuel bill rise from £2000 to £2800. How angry am I about this? Not at all really, I ensure that my contract includes travel costs and just bill the customer for the increased costs. The funniest thing of all>>>>> My customer is the government!!!!
When will they (the government) realise that these increased prices impact the whole of the British economy. In fact those affected least of all are those who travel the most and pass the cost onto the customers. Wake up and give the economy the boost it needs.
Eric, England

What gets me is the way it's priced. A huge chuck of it is tax - then they slap on another 17.5% as VAT. Which is in effect, a tax ON the tax.
Michael, England


Governments should invest in alternative fuel sources like hydrogen and swap to this as soon as possible

Neil, UK
It is ever so obvious that the oil producing nations are trying to eek out their finite source of income, and gain as much money from it as possible. In other words they are going to push the prices as high as they dare.
So in response to this, governments should invest in alternative fuel sources like hydrogen and swap to this as soon as possible, thus removing the strangle hold the oil producing companies have.
Neil, UK

You can hardly blame Opec for trying to get a decent price for a diminishing asset when they see European governments, led by the UK, taking advantage by levying tax of many times what they get for the product.
Brian, UK


Someone here in the UK suggests - Let's boycott petrol stations one day a month - What happens? Nothing complete apathy!

Chris Barlow-Smith, UK
Interesting isn't it ... the French dig their heels in and the government puts in place an aid package. Someone here in the UK suggests - Let's boycott petrol stations one day a month. What happens? Nothing complete apathy! So maybe we all get what we deserve.
Chris Barlow-Smith, UK

It just makes me wonder what on earth does this country offer me, as a reason for staying, and not going elsewhere in the world, where the standard, and cost, of living is much, much better, and affordable. People should just vote with their feet and leave this over-priced and decaying country, that is in no way a Great Britain any longer.
Jean-Marc Watson, UK

The price of diesel is too cheap if people can afford to buy it. The exhaust emissions are vile and a major cause of asthma. Push the tax up and spend the money raised in research to develop cleaner fuels.
John, England

Well... what a stark contrast between the futile Dump the Pump and our Gaelic friends. Is our nation now so emasculated that we just take government abuse day in, day out? Seems like it!!
Jenny B, UK


The real scandal at the moment is not the high cost of fuel in Europe, but the very low cost in the USA

Richard, London
The real scandal at the moment is not the high cost of fuel in Europe, but the very low cost in the USA. There is absolutely no point in countries such as the UK and Germany encouraging a greener agenda when petrol is practically being given away in the world's largest economy. I accept that politically, no American administration would be able to significantly increase the tax on fuel in a country that is wedded to the internal combustion engine. History will judge the USA harshly.
Richard, London

Many people don't realise that they get double tax on fuel, VAT on the crude oil and then the horrendous tax burden on the everyday motorist. I live in a rural area and have no choice but to use my car so why should I subsidise the South East of England?
Graeme Trotter, Scotland

Although OPEC effectively control the crude price with production restrictions, the Government could simply reduce the tax to keep the price stable. This would barely reduce the overall tax take, and keep everybody largely happy. Tony Blair won't take the sensible option, however, as he would prefer to profiteer on the back of the profiteering OPEC.
Adrian, England

The blatant hypocrisy of successive British governments in claiming they are trying to be "Green" on transport by fleecing the motorist and not using the vast amounts of money this generates on transport issues was always going to blow up in their faces. The British public knows full well who is to blame - 70% duty by the Treasury. But unfortunately we, the public, are very docile and are basically too lazy to do anything except moan. Hats off to the French for trying to do something about it.
Graeme, England

Petrol costs 44p a litre in Spain, the same costs 80p here in the UK. The difference is wholly attributable to TAX. The Government sets the level of tax. Therefore, the Government is to blame. Worst of all, unlike Spain we are being taxed on a resource that already belongs to the British people. To blame it on OPEC is an act of gross hypocrisy and exploitation. These countries deserve every penny they get for their oil. It is the livelihood of its people. It is shameful for a Labour government to want to lower the standard of living in Nigeria, Venezuela etc, to satisfy its convoluted policy of taxing us to the hilt.
Anthony Forster, England.


It's time for the people of Britain to voice their feelings on the rising tax on fuel

Andrew, England
Enough is enough. It's time for the people of Britain to voice their feelings on the rising tax on fuel. Show your support to lowering tax on fuel for business use.
Andrew, England

Why aren't we joining in? I often think the French go over the top sometimes with their strikes, but surely we British do not get up and stand up enough? We pay even higher taxes not only for fuel but across the board. What's happened to this proud nation of fighters? I say let's all make a stand for lower fuel prices and give the French our whole-hearted support.
Tracy Muir, UK

We, the public, are to blame. We continually accept higher prices on most products, from cars, electronics, mobile and telephone charges, CDs, videos, DVD, petrol - the list is endless. Manufacturers and distributors are out to make a profit, not to provide a service. They cannot be blamed for charging more here if we are willing to pay for it. The cost of any product is always linked to how much people are willing to pay. If we are willing to pay more, they will charge more. It's as simple as that.
Fraser Keith, Scotland

Who says rising fuel prices are a bad thing? The experience so far shows that price is the only effective way of bringing down fuel consumption and unless we succeed in bringing fuel consumption down a long way we are going to do irreparable damage to the planet.
Tony Green, UK


You just have to hand it to the French...

Michael Cooper, England
You just have to hand it to the French. When something happens which the people do not like, their direct approach usually gets the required result. How I wish we were more like that in this country, instead of just moaning and doing nothing. It's lucky this millennium dome fiasco didn't happen in France, they would probably have dug it up by now if it had.
Michael Cooper, England

Motorists are an easy target for the government, everybody has a car, it's a symbol of freedom, and the government just sees motorists as an easy source of income. They should lower the amount of TAX on fuel and prove that they do listen to what the people, they represent say, before the motorists in the UK get wise to the concessions our European counterparts are getting, and before we lose all the confidence we have in our own government, because I nearly have.
John Tipton, UK

I am laughing from the sidelines at the whole situation as I only have a bicycle!
Wyatt, Canterbury, England

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