Fuel Prices and Taxation

Posted by Peter Llewellyn ( on September 18, 2000 at 12:58:34:

Fuel prices appear too high and vary too much but cutting the tax element is unjustifiable. This is not a green point of view - I am unconvinced by the global warming argument as are some climatologists. No, the problem for us in the U.K. is that we have insisted on low direct taxes to such an extent that we are a country with one of the lowest tax burdens in the EU. Only Spain and Irelend are currently lower than us and it has been like this for a while. If we cut fuel taxes then we must increase taxes on something else or cut public expenditure.

The cut fuel taxes argument without explaining where the compensating increases come from, is either made from ignorance (which I suspect) of the true tax situation, or from greed. Even if we do re-distribute taxes to help those who depend on fuel, why would we support farmers who have access to red diesel, or Hauliers who can claim back VAT and can pay very little income tax compared with PAYE people? Of all those (e.g. the disabled) who might deserve some attention for reducing fuel tax, farmers and hauliers are pretty low down on my list.

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