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If this isn’t a bizarre move, Mr Brown has been pleading with oil producing companies to up their production, so that petrol prices don’t hit £1/litre. Why he needs to do this pleading when two-thirds of the petrol price goes to him, I don’t really understand. For every penny more the suppliers charge, the price goes up a total of 3p, thanks to 2p in tax. So if Mr Brown is so desperate for the petrol prices not to rise, then why can he not reduce the proportion of tax charged, so that the total revenue remains consistent instead of increasing? That way, the impact of any increase would be reduced by two-thirds. Heck, he could even reduce the total revenue if he’s so worried about petrol prices.
I guess we can only be glad that
his comments did little to placate fuel protesters, who said demonstrations planned for Wednesday would go ahead unless Government ministers agreed to meet them to discuss their concerns within the next two days
As much as the last petrol protest was inconvenient, it certainly succeeded. And it could well do so again.
Of course, the bigger political picture is that this problem belongs to Mr Brown rather than Mr Blair – and it’s not good for a leader-in-waiting to be seen in a bad light… Could Mr Blair use this crisis to his advantage, and prevent (or at least make more difficult) the passing of the mantle to Mr Brown? I doubt it, but it’s certainly a possibility.