Petrol busts the pound a litre barrier in the UK

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Ok, well that's just ignorant. Federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. State tax ranges from 8 (Alaska) to 32.1 (Wisconson) cents per gallon.

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Title of the thread involves UK, not US.
Tom
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...and the OP suggested that North Americans need not comment, implying that, however high their prices are, they are still low... :-))
But hey, this is free-speech-usenet...
DAS
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Sorry, I missed it. I stand corrected.
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Of course the reason for the high prices in most of the world is taxes. Of course it is just a revenue-raising exercise for governments. But they also encourage more fuel-efficient engines and conservation.
DAS
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On Sun, 11 Sep 2005 13:43:36 +0100, "Dori A Schmetterling"

So why does diesel cost more than unleaded?
Over here in the UK I think I read that over 70% of the pump price is tax. I wouldn't mind so much if this money went to improving the roads, and public transport so I could have a choice and not drive all the time, but public transport is a joke, and it's still quicker and cheaper for me to drive my car from London to Birmingham than it is to take the train, and that's just a car with one person in it. With passengers it becomes a complete no brainer.
D0d6y.
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Shortage of refinery capacity. Diesel is a lot more popular for private cars now than it was 10-15 years ago.
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In the US, it's also related to capacity. Refineries can only process so much crude. Diesel and gas (petrol) are both relatively similar fractions, and production of one reduces the other. The US has high gas demand during the summer, and diesel - as heating oil - during the winter, so they trade it off, which raises diesel prices during the summer, gas during the winter.
FloydR
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In Britain and other countries the tax levied on diesel is/was different to petrol. Don't know how it is in the UK now, but I would not be surprised if the 'natural' price of diesel were higher because of where it comes out in the refinery fraction and volumes relative to petrol, especially now that the consumption has risen (as John Burns points out).
Ideally the demand pattern should match the production pattern, but it doesn't.
As regards UK taxes I chose my words carefully, saying it is just a revenue raiser. The link between fuel taxes and road building was abolished, I think in the fifties. There never was a link with public transport and, though quite a few people would feel as you do about paying for public transport, I can't see any government hypothecating any taxes in such a way.
The other day I heard on BBC R4 that at 97 p/l there are 47 p tax, so now it is much less than 70%. I think this figure was valid at lower pump prices, as the fixed element ('fuel duty') has not actually risen in recent years.
I wonder if you saw the Top Gear edition in which they reported on new research showing that the energy cost per head in a car was lower than in a train, taking into account typical occupancy rates. I don't know anything about the background, but it would not surprise me if it were true. People never talk about the power stations and their pollution when talking about trains.
DAS
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I thought it was a %age? And don't forget to take 17.5% VAT into account. And remember that for every pound you earn the government deducts tax and national insurance. So from every pound in your salaray you deduct, tax, NI, VAT, fuel tax and you'll see that they make a fortune out of us.
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John Burns wrote:

#!/bin/bash
# Civilization:
# 1) Most want it.
# 2) Most do not want to pay for it.
:
.
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Of course the worst case is when you pay for civilization and still do not get it - then it is time to move.
.
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Or time to ask for change :-) Anyway, methinks this is getting a tad off topic.
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I'm quite happy to have less of it! In Scotland something like 1 in 4 people work for the government. Does strike anyone as a tad high?

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It depends on what services they provide. You could reduce that amount by contracting out to the private side. But this has been shown to have mixed blessings. ;-)
Take something relatively simple like refuse collection which we all need. Your council might run this or pay someone else to. It would be impractical to arrange it for yourself. If the council run scheme is poor and or inefficient, it's down to bad management. If a private one is better, it has better management. But then will incur extra costs in the form of profit to the owners.
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'Tis true. Even the most anti-taxation right winger wants taxes spent on useless wars and locking inadequates away for ever in jail.
In the UK, things like the health service which is perhaps the major tax consumer seems to be the sacred cow.
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On Mon, 12 Sep 2005 20:37:28 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

This would be the health service that has more managers and pen pushers than it has doctors and nurses?
If the UK were a PC god game this would be the point to say "hang on, this isn't going well", and then reload from the game you saved in the 80s.
Dodgy.
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And you think a private scheme with all those telesales and account chasers etc would be any better? 'Cause it wouldn't - the only difference would be on paper. Until you needed serious or long term care where they just wouldn't want to know.
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IIRC there are two elements, the larger one being a fixed sum per unit volume. The other one is VAT, a variable (even if a fixed percentage).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4653175.stm http://www.rha.net/public/adviceandinfo/ved2001.shtml
In fact the second link suggests I was wrong in that fuel duty only is 47 pence per litre. I thought it included the VAT element, so total tax is 47.1 p (to be precise) plus 17.5% of the total price. At GBP 1 per litre total tax is about 15 p VAT plus 47 p duty = 62 p so a lot closer to what Dodgy thought.
The planned increase in the duty has been postponed.
When I filled up yesterday it was 'only' 97 p at my nearest central London Shell station. :-(
DAS
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I wonder if dropping the fuel tax is a good idea.
Lower prices means more demand.
More demand and a limited supply means higher prices anyway.
But then I cannot relate to $7.50 USD gallons living in the USA as I do.
.
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