Bits and Pieces

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Panic Buying in the UK

Weeks after the event, the effects of Hurricane Katrina finally reach the shores of my little island. An increase in fuel prices, primarily due to the crippling effect on US refineries caused by Katrina, has caused talk of blockades of refineries here in the UK to force the government to reduce fuel duty.

For the second time in five years, drivers are queueing for hours in order to fill up their tanks - and this time, we're paying a ridiculous 98 pence a litre. The most amusing aspect of this mess is the strenuous denials from industry heads that there is any panic buying going on. Speaking as someone who waited for over 30 minutes to get into the forecourt yesterday - and was then told that I was the 'lucky last one' to get to use the pump before it was turned off, I call bullshit.

Protesters from the Fuel Lobby have given the government a deadline of tomorrow to meet and discuss their grievances - the most pressing of which must be the 20% increase in the price of fuel at the pump we've seen in recent months.

If the government refuse to reduce fuel duty - which makes up around 48% of the prices of fuel - protesters will cripple the supply routes around the country, including a general blockade of refineries, protests in Dover and that perennial favourite of protesters everywhere, a go slow on the M4.

I for one am all for it. I've got a full tank and a big grudge. It seems I spend most of my wage just keeping my car on the road, and I'm sick of it.

Heh. This post seems oddly prescient today.
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