Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister, is looking for ways to increase oil production in the North Sea, but has not yet announced the cancellation of impending fuel tax increases.
Citing worldwide problems in oil supply, Gordon Brown is making a welcome move to increase the production of UK owned oil from the North Sea. This will not resolve the short term problems that all of us are experiencing whenever we fill up our cars at the petrol station.
It will also not help those people who rely on central heating oil to heat their homes, at least not for a very long time.
It will also not appease the lorry drivers that have been demonstrating against the high fuel costs lately. Fuel costs that are damaging the haulage industry and sending our food costs soaring.
So whilst increasing UK oil output will be of benefit in the long term, there is actually one thing that Gordon Brown can do to help us all now – cancel the impending tax increase on petrol.
The government must be raking in untold millions in VAT and tax as the cost of petrol and diesel has rocketed at the pumps. 2p extra per litre, which is the increase in duty planned for October, is not going to make a huge difference to government finance, however it will add significant costs to hauliers and other high usage petrol and diesel users.
That 2p tax will also feed into higher inflation as it will help drive up the cost of food and other consumer items.
So come on Gordon Brown. Cancel that 2p rise in fuel duty. That is a way of helping us all now.
So as not to expose their communities to food shortages, the OECD reports that some developing countries are not exporting their surplus food, thus contributing to the wider shortages and higher prices in our supermarkets.
In this policy is buried a solution to our own petrol/diesel problems. We have our own oil in the North Sea, which provides two per cent of world production and almost ALL of our own requirements. Instead of putting it on the world market, we should reserve the output for our own use at our own production costs. This would allow us to benefit from our own resources and, because prices would be lower, not trigger any energy-related inflation.
Of course, NuLabour would have to sacrifice the huge income they would otherwise earn and spend. But at least their preference would indicate whether or not filling the country’s pockets is more important than emptying ours.