Petrol going up 2.5p

  techie4me 17:37 28 Sep 2007
Locked

1st October is the day for petrol to go up 2.5p a litre.
Will people except this or will fuel protests come back?

  Forum Editor 18:53 03 Oct 2007

Just a quick point on NIMBYism.

Generations of my family were hill-farmers in rural Wales - in locations that were somewhat more remote than cosy rural 'deepest Somerset'.

They existed with Land-Rovers, as did all farmers before other manufacturers saw a marketing opportunity, and they cleared up road kills quite adequately with them. Having modern 4x4s isn't any more essential on rural farms than anywhere else - that's a myth, perpetuated by the people who want to drive them, and by the makers, who seduce people with macho ads depicting lumberjacks and 4x4s roaring across shale screes.

People who live in the countryside often like to see themselves in some kind of pioneering light, as if they're wrestling with nature from dawn until dusk, but it's far from the truth, and you would do well to ease up on the criticism of someone who made a perfectly sensible and valid observation.

  Forum Editor 19:38 03 Oct 2007

It's a little wide of the mark to say that governments discriminate against drivers. That comment has no real foundation in fact - you're angry, and you're ranting, which is fair enough, but try to keep your feet on the ground.

Governments know that most of us are motorists, and they know that any increase in the fuel duty is bound to be unpopular. By increasing the duty of fuel the government doesn'ty discriminate against motorists any more than it discriminates against drinkers when it raises the duty on alcohol. Talking of 'professional drivers' as if they're a race apart is a non-starter I'm afraid; lots of people (including me) can claim to earn their living in part from driving - it's the way the world is now. I could certainly travel to see my clients by train or bus, or a combination of both, but it would mean I would get less done in a day, and would therefore charge more for my services.

I'm not at all opposed to fuel duty increases for that very reason - I use my car mainly for work, so I can pass on the increase to my clients. They pay, and they charge their customers more as a result - that's a market economy at work.

The real victims, if you want to look for them, are those people who use their cars almost entirely for pleasure, and have no way to recover the increased cost - it isn't the road-haulage companies with huge fuel bills - they'll all pay the increase and they all pass it onto their customers. The playing field will remain level as far as they are concerned - unless some of them choose to absorb the increase - a scenario I find most of them find difficult to contemplate.

  birdface 21:27 03 Oct 2007

Very Nice if you can pass on the Extra fuel duty on to your customers,I am sure all those firms that have. Or are going out of business because of the constant fuel rise's will be happy to know that.All I am trying to say is let them tax everyone and not just Motorists.It is not as though any of the money goes back into new roads or anything like that,Even the money collected from Road Fund License only a small proportion is actually spent on roads,If you do not want to pay duty on drink, You stop drinking,The same with Paint you stop painting.Fuel Tax you pay it or you stop working.And you are quite happy as you don't pay for fuel you pass it on to your customers as part of the price.You are not opposed to a rise in fuel duty as you dont pay for it.Hmmm

  Forum Editor 23:02 03 Oct 2007

How can any firm be going out of business because of "constant fuel rises"? All companies can pass fuel costs on if they want to. Any increase in fuel duty appliea to everyone - if a business is operating so close to the wire that a few pence on a litre of fuel tips it into insolvency the problem certainly isn't the fuel cost.

All businesses have some choices to make when operating costs rise - either absorb the cost and make savings elsewhere, pass the cost on in the form of price rises, or do a bit of both. The extent to which one company continues to do well and another doesn't depends on the management skills involved in making the right judgment; you can't blame the government if some companies are badly run . I have no reason to feel bad about passing the costs on to my clients - that's one of the ways you survive in business.

  WhiteTruckMan 23:45 03 Oct 2007

merely because of your job, that doesnt make you a professional driver. Would you call a salesman (or woman) driving up and down the motorway a professional driver?

If driving a lot IS your job, then thats some ways to calling yourself a professional. If in doubt, ask yourself if someone is going to have to take the upcoming drivers certificate of professional compatance?


As for "..if a business is operating so close to the wire that a few pence on a litre of fuel tips it into insolvency the problem certainly isn't the fuel cost" Thats a naive viewpoint indeed of the road haulage industry, and its partly why I gave up being an owner driver. Think profit margins in the computer industry are tight? You havent seen anything unless you've had to run a truck for a living.

The final straw for me was after a fuel hike I couldnt absorb, nothing left to trim off the maintenane budget and was living a virtually hand to mouth existance. Customers attitude was "oh well, if you cant do it we'll get someone else" and they wound up with a large well known scottish outfit doing it for a pittance (their usual tactic to get their foot in the door). I found out 3 months later they had had enough of running at a loss, tried hiking the rate as I had done, with the same amount of sucess, and pulled out. Last I heard, they were using a large hungarian outfit, with drivers paid a pittance, no road tax, very little in the way of rules and regs to comply with, and fuel tanks the size of swimming pools filled with dirt cheap eastern european deisel.

WTM

  Forum Editor 00:22 04 Oct 2007

"Think profit margins in the computer industry are tight? You havent seen anything unless you've had to run a truck for a living."

Yes, I'm sure it's difficult, but lots of industries say the same thing - we all like to think that we have a hard job making a business pay. There's no naivity involved on my part, I can't see where I say that running a haulage business is easy. The fact remains, however, that fuel costs are the same for all small hauliers, and not all of them go out of business each time there's a duty increase. Competition is fierce in many other industries - the haulage business isn't unique in that respect - and all manufacturers have distribution costs to think about. If one decides to place its business with a competitor because its haulier won't absorb a cost increase it may be unfortunate, but it's the way commerce works.

I haven't said it's a garden of roses, I know very well that it's not, but what I can't accept is the attitude that it's the government's fault because someobody fails to run a profitable business - whether they are self-employed or not.

  WhiteTruckMan 01:12 04 Oct 2007

when they permit foreign operators to undercut british hauliers. And before anyone thinks this a protectionist rant, let me say that the UK transport industry is amongst the most efficent in the world. Give us a level playing field and we can compete with anyone. If I take a truck across europe, I have to pay carnets, motorway tolls, and run the risk of the likes of the (unrepeatable) french authorities impounding my truck if it happens to have more than one fuel tank fitted, on the grounds that I may be importing fuel. And this is all on top of everything I have paid just to put my UK registered truck on the road in britain.

Now turn that on its head. A european registered truck (increasingly eastern european) arrives at dover (or whereever). For starters, the truck has been bought at a price unavailable in the UK because of a lack of vehicle taxation and VAT on commercial vehicles. (what? you think its just cars that are too expensive in rip off britain? I dont have the exact figures to hand, unfortunately, but I've heard that for every 5 scanias you can buy in the UK, you can buy 8 in rumania). Operational requirements are non too stringent either, so theres a good chance a lot of money has been shaved off the maintenance. Thats if any has been done at all. Next time you see an eastern european truck, take a good look at it. Theres a good reason it appears, well, shabby looking.

Next is fuel. Take a look at that drawbar outfit as you pass it on the motorway. How many fuel tanks does it have? Two? But you can only see one side of the chassis. How many are on the other side as well? Now actually LOOK at them. Note how big they are. I carry a single 600 litre tank, but its not uncommon for some of them to carry 2000 lites plus, and you can run a truck for a long time on that before you hop back over the water to refuel.

Next, road tax. We pay a lot of money for our roads, while european hauliers pay nothing to use them. Do we get the same consideration abroad? Even the hard of hearing can hear them laughing in brussels over that one!

In short, its not poor management that drives small hauliers to the wall, its a sucession of governments that want to be seen to be at the political centre of europe, to the detriment of its own citizens. I believe we have a right to expect our government to at least consider the welfare of its own country, and not trade things away for a mess of pottage. If everyone paid the same for fuel, that would be something. As it is, its not just our goods and services that are being taken for a ride...

WTM

  Forum Editor 07:06 04 Oct 2007

You make a convincing case for becoming a Hungarian haulage operator and trading on UK roads, but again, I fail to see how our government is to blame because other countries are more lax.

If the government really does drive small hailiers to the wall there will presumably be no small hauliers in business at all. I hear what you're saying, and I bow to your superior knowledge of the haulage industry, but market economies can only work one way - if the government must consider every industry as a special case when it comes to duties and taxes the system would become unworkable. Maybe small hauliers can't compete, as you say, and will eventually die out, but there seem to be plenty of them surviving at the moment.

  WhiteTruckMan 08:24 04 Oct 2007

Hauliers arent asking to be treated as a special case. We arent asking for preferential treatment.

All we want is for everyone to be treated the same.

If foreign hauliers paid the same as we do while operating on uk roads, that would put money into the governments pockets, something that they are increasingly keen to have us do. But thats a political decision, and one that no government seems willing to take.

Fair competition and market forces are one thing. Political obstruction cannot be competed with, at least not with a buisness model.

And thats enough of banging this particular drum.

WTM

  Quickbeam 08:42 04 Oct 2007

a gallon. What's that about 10p a litre!

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