We read this fuel sales report from the AA with interest.
“Retail sales of petrol from January to March were 835.654 million litres lower than during the same period in 2008. For diesel, retail sales dropped by 246.994 million litres over the same period.
This 15.2% collapse in petrol sales and 6.0% fall in diesel sales is largely explained by austerity and record fuel prices, which saw petrol rise 7.94p a litre and diesel 10.51p during the first three months.”
There are many reasons for this fall. The success of the Government car-scrappage scheme which led to almost 400,000 older fuel inefficient cars coming off the road in 2010 is one. These cars were of course replaced by more modern, fuel efficient cars. The increase in hybrid cars for sale and on the road could also account for some of the drop.
Of course, the largest cause is the explanation laid out in the AA Press Release – austerity and record fuel prices. Were more people examining the necessity of their journeys and using their cars less?
This drop in retail sales has led to a massive tax loss for the government.
“For the Government, the fall in fuel sales has deprived the Treasury of £637.8 million in tax”
Couple this with the cut in fuel duty announced at the last Budget then this shortfall will have to be made up from somewhere.
We have already seen tax rises passed on to drivers of company cars. The Government famously declared the end of the “war on motorists”, so are we safe from more high tax rises?