Monday, 16 November 2009


Life just goes on getting better and better in this country, doesn’t it?

Despite the fact that we are told there is no inflation at all and that our money in building society and bank accounts earns no interest to speak of, it’s interesting that the cost of petrol in the UK has risen by 26% over the last year. In short it costs a quarter more to fill up your tank than it did last year.

Petrol is expected to reach £1.10 a litre before Christmas, an astounding £5. 0s. 0d a gallon for those who prefer old money and imperial measures. The blame is being laid on the increased cost of oil and the falling value of the pound (thank you Gordon).

The amazing thing is that, the last time that petrol cost this much, the cost of crude oil was $100 a barrel; at the moment it has remained between $75-$80 a barrel, prompting criticism that oil companies are fast to raise prices when the cost of crude goes up, but slow to reduce them when it comes down.

Interestingly BP has just announced bumper quarterly profits, during this recession, of £3 billion, a rise of 60% on the previous quarter. I wonder if the two are connected.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to put a damper on your evening, the VAT reduction that Darling introduced last year in a desperate attempt to encourage Christmas spending, will disappear in early January, adding on average £1.50 to a tank of petrol.

I find that strange in an oil rich country. One of the benefits of the union, I guess.


  1. Tris..

    Its a disgrace that we are paying all this money to fill up our tanks.

    The cheapest I have seen in Edinburgh was at Morrison at 99p for unleaded but even at that it was 90p not so long ago.

    I dont drive that much and tend to use the bus at least 3 days a week to work and even at that the price for a day ticket went up from £2.50 to £3.00 in one hike. I mind it used to be £1.80 3 years ago and 5 years ago it was £1.50.

    So car drivers, bus passengers and I'm both are ll feeling the pinch.

    Think I will just cycle to work, I ken I can do it under 20 mins no sweat. The way back would be even quicker as it would be mostly doon hill.

  2. Yes Spook.

    It's the same in Dundee with the bus fares. They have just sky rocketed. It's much cheaper now to take your car wherever you are going, even with the daft prices of petrol.

    The trouble with cycling to work is that it is actually a "sweat", and you can get mud splattered... unless you have changing facilities at work.

  3. Tris..

    I know and they are trying to encourage people to use public transport yet the fairs keep rocketing. Thankfully my Mini doesn't cost a hell of a lot to fill but I'm still watching how much I spend.

    I cycled up a few times to work but the traffic is too dangerous coz of all the Tram works. I put my work clothes in my rucksack and changed when I arrived at work but my shirt gets to creased so I kept my waistcoat at work so I could put it over my shirt to hide most of the creases lol..

    Anyway far safer taking the car or the bus up, even is it costs a fortune like!!

  4. If they insist on putting petrol up to unaffordable prices then they must work hard at creating public transport that you would want to use. They have failed dismally. From where I live I can take the car into town and it costs me about 50p in petrol (I'm close to the centre, but not so long ago it was only 30p).

    Alternatively I can take the bus which is £1.20 each way. There is a car park in town where you can park for free for 2 hours, long enough for what little bit of business I might have.

    The buses are often crowded, frequently late, sometimes they don't come at all. The shelters are poor and often wind swept. You also have the problems that you were talking about over on your blog, of people taking up two seats because they are fat, or because they insist on sitting with their legs spread open and their bags on the seat next to them.

    So, I can spend 50p and arrive in relative comfort (possibly with a mate), or I can walk to the bus stop, catch a bus in discomfort and pay of £2.40 (and if a mate is with me that's now £4.80).

    Hard choice.

    Don't get me started on the trains!

  5. "I find that strange in an oil rich country. One of the benefits of the union, I guess."

    Scotland produces more oil daily than Qatar in the Persian Gulf.

    Qatar produced 1,378,000 barrels of oil a day in 2008.
    Scotland produced 1,544,000 barrels of oil a day in 2008.

    The figures are in a pdf from BP. Oil production is given as being from the UK but English oil production is so small you can discount it in these figures.

    It's a figure from 2008 but the cost per gallon, (not per litre}, of petrol in Qatar was $0.73 US Dollars.

  6. Dougthedug. Hi, welcome to Munguin's Republic.

    Thank you for doing that research and posting it here. I'm not sure excactly what 73c is in pounds but I'm guessing that it would be between 50p and 60p. So we are talking maybe a maximum of 15p per litre.

    But then Qatar is an independent country!

    I remember, I think it was last year when the petrol prices went sky high, that Brown was at a huge international meeting and spoke out against the high prices of oil. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia pointed out that the cost of oil was a very small proportion of the price of petrol in many countries, and that that mainly depended on the level of taxation that each government levied. He looked straight at Brown when he said it.

  7. Hi Tris, the difficult bit was finding out the price of petrol in Qatar, I've had the BP pdf bookmarked for a long time.

    Glasgow NE is an example of how the unionists have broken the spirit of many in Scotland.

    We produce as much oil as a Gulf State, we've got huge fishing grounds, we could become the "Saudia Arabia" of renewable energy and we've got lots and lots of water which is going to be a very valuable resource soon and as Scots we still elect non-entities like Willie Bain to Parliament.

    What's he going to do for Glasgow NE and Scotland? Like Lindsay Roy in Glenrothes he'll just disappear into Westminster as more lobby fodder for the Labour party.

    I get the distinct impression that much of Labour Scotland still thinks that they are voting for a working man's party, not for a party which is epitomised by Lord Mandelson dining on a Russian Oligarch's yacht in the Med with his pal Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne.

  8. I don’t suppose petrol will get any cheaper as the Labour Party need all the money they can get to keep what is left of the UK economy afloat.

    I personally only think that they allowed petrol to fall below £1 a litre during 2009 because Alex Salmond with his economist hat on said during the last hike of 2008 that it would not fall below £1 again. It’s nice for them to discredit the First Minister, it encourages people in Glasgow North East to vote for people who really don’t know what they are doing like the Cyclops and his friends Eybrows and Lord Voldermort. It seems, however, that our First Minister was in actual fact right.

    On the subject of Glasgow North East. I can only anticipate David Cameron’s reduction of the number of Scots MPs seeing that one off into that great goodnight. Glasgow, Strathclyde and the Scottish midlands have far too many Westminster constituencies and they all vote Labour without the use of a single gray cell between them. Getting rid of them may help the Tories but it will also help the SNP.

  9. Doug:

    I wondered how you got that information on Qatar... I was looking for European price differences and couldn't find anything that was up to date.

    I can't understand why people who were traditional Labour voters, who thought that this was the party of the working man, can possibly go on thinking that. It's clearly the party of the working senior banker with policies designed round the elite of South-East England.

    If Scotland were to become independent a proper left wing party could re-emerge from the confused bunch of people here; a party that would know whether or not it was socialist.

    What will Willie Bain do for the people of GNE? Nothing I should think. If it had been a narrow victory, giving them something to worry about for the General Election, he might have been found one small victory to parade to the people, but, as the people seem to be perfectly content with the level of poverty that they live in, and were inclined to vote for more of it, then there seems no great point in wasting money that could better be spent in England on a constituency which might be wavering.

    If ever there was a chance to get something done, this was it! They missed it. Just how stupid can some people be?

  10. Munguin:

    They are not about to reduce the tax take on petrol. They have a great excuse of course in the "green" argument. The trouble is they have done nothing to make public transport in the least bit enticing. It not cheap, it's not convenient and it's unpleasant to use. So dear though it may be to use the car, it is often more expensive than the train or bus, and so much more pleasant to use.

    Actually, I think I was wrong when I said that it would go up in January. If I remember rightly, although they did reduce the VAT on petrol last December, they added some duty to replace it so that it wouldn't become cheaper. (Businesses complained because they could claim back the VAT but not the duty, so it was a price hike for them.)

    I don't know what Cameron do with the reduction in seats, but he has indicated a 10% reduction all over the UK. I suspect that that will be more in the Celtic nations, quite rightly as their MPs have far less to do than English MPs.

  11. Petrol costs twice as much in Scotland as it does in Canada. Tsk Tsk Tsk - you lot have been bent over and taking it in the Khyber Pass for too long.

  12. And don't we just know it Scunnert.

    I'm pretty certain that an independent Scotland wouldn't be paying this kind of money for its petrol.