When you buy petrol to fill up your car you find that although the oil price has halved on world markets in the past eight months, and fallen by a nearly a third in the past twenty four months the price at the pumps barely reflects what goes on in the oil market world wide. One reason is the greed of petrol companies but a more significant reason is the tax levied on petrol. For every litre you buy you pat 58 pence in duty and on top of that you pay value added atx on both the price of the petrol and the duty. One sixth of what you pay is value added tax and 58 pence of every litre you buy is duty, so overall in the United Kingdom people who use cars and vans and lorries have to make a very significant contribution to the nation’s tax.
This is probably not a bad thing in some cases, for petrol and diesel contribute significantly to pollution an global warming, but it is the nature of how the tax is levied that is deceptive and as such this government way of taxing fuel is not particularly easy to unravel for the ordinary person, who usually pays these taxes out of income that is already taxed.
Therefore the cost of transport by car is very high, but what is frankly amazing and makes me incredulous is that in most cases it is much cheaper to drive long distances for a family and more often than not for individuals than it is to take a train and a bus (cars usually take people from one door to another and trains do not).
If taxes should be used to make people do what is right (and I have always thought that they should) then tax on transportation fuel fails miserably.