I have always thought the oil companies miss an important presentational trick. They should put on the pump and on the receipt for fuel how much is UK tax. When almost two thirds of the fuel price is tax, people might like to know that so much of their very large bill is going to their local hospital or school, not to the fat cats of the oil company.
All western governments tax petrol and diesel heavily, though the UK is one of the highest chargers whilst the US is still relatively low. The G7 countries take more money from the fuel consumer than OPEC or the other oil producers who supply the raw material. The UK government takes almost twice as much in tax as OPEC gets from the sale.
The VAT rise is tax on tax, and has taken UK fuel prices to new highs at the pump. Meanwhile the oil price itself is around $90 a barrel, compared with a high of over $140. It is time for the UK government to dust down its idea of a fuel price stabiliser operated through variable taxes on fuel, starting now with a reduction, to take some of the inflationary pressure of this latest move out of the system.
Anyone from the US reading this might spare a thought for all those of us paying more than $9 a gallon.