Cheaper petrol and diesel

The average cost of unleaded petrol on 18 February this year was 20.8 a litre less than a year earlier, a drop of 16.1% Diesel was down by 21.4p a litre, or 15.6%. (Petrol 108.8p, diesel 115.6p).

The government has made a modest contribution to cheaper petrol by stopping the rises in duty. The main reason for the lower prices is the big fall in the international oil price, as more oil and gas comes onstream in the USA including from shale deposits.

Some people will be pleased to know that 70% of the pump price of petrol is now government taxes of one kind or another, meaning the motorist is still making a large contribution to paying for our public services. Others will not be so happy about the continuing high level of tax, but pleased that more supply has brought a welcome reduction in the cost of living.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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