The Budget brought great success for RMI Petrol as we had been first to identify exactly what the full impact of Darling’s 1ppl duty increase in ’real terms’ would mean from April 1, 2011 an unbelievable 5ppl tax hike when the nation was already reeling from the double-tax take of 0.76ppl duty rise from January 1 and VAT up to 20% from January 4.


Meanwhile our campaign, wonderfully supported by The Sun and its Page 3 girls, was eventually heard in Downing Street, so that the 5ppl tax hike was abandoned. However, our recommendation of a 2ppl duty cut, delayed until April 1, was heard but badly mishandled by the Treasury mandarins and the politicians. Instead we had a 1ppl cut from 6pm on Budget day. Most independents who had purchased their forecourt fuel stock on a duty-paid basis, as we had reminded government, were not in a position to pass on this cut immediately. Thus the government (and retailers) were subject to completely avoidable criticism from the motorist, who had been led to expect an immediate 1ppl cut. Of course, the wholesale prices of fuel were climbing most days that week, so further clouded the issue.


What now? For the remainder of 2011, we only have the rising prices of global crude to assimilate into our pump prices and the outlook is not favourable at this stage.


What next? We must all remember that the Chancellor, while forsaking the Labour legacy of 1ppl duty increase for the duration of their term in office, has kept the ’in real terms’ element. This is the inflation indexation, based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI). So on January 1, 2012, duty could increase by 3ppl plus 20% VAT which equals 4ppl, which is the deferred April 1, 2011 increase. Then the January 1, 2012 increase is being deferred to August 1, 2012 and that brings another 4ppl duty/VAT rise.


Far from solving our fuel taxation problems, the Chancellor has announced duty increases for 2012 which add up to a staggering and unprecedented 8ppl in a single calendar year.


This means that RMI Petrol will continue lobbying government to ease such a drastic tax burden and continue gaining support from the media wherever and whenever possible. This is just one of the many reasons why RMI Petrol needs the full support of the independent sector going forward.