The Tax-dodgers Alliance are tweeting a template letter seeking a freeze of petrol and diesel prices. All that constituents need do is write in their details and the TDA will do the rest. This is a suggested reply.
I am, of course, concerned about rising prices for transport. By far the greatest increases have been those in the cost of non-polluting train fares. Very worrying too is the 9% hike in energy charges that effect everybody, rich and poor, that has just been announced.
If it's the so called Tax-Payers Alliance running this, they could look at the wholly unjustifiable increases in other costs. The Alliance is usually referred to in Parliament as the 'Tax-dodgers Alliance' because some of their members have been proved to be evading tax. That would be another worthy cause for them to take up. But they will not.
The tax paid on fuel has always been high. If it is to be cut someone has to suggest another way of raising money or saving it. No Government since the war has had a serious policy of reducing the proportion of tax from petrol or diesel charges. That is why there is an element of cynicism in this campaign.
The price of fuel in this country is now on the average or lower end of the price table in Europe. As a holiday traveller in Europe, I know the cost is now almost exactly the same or lower than the prices in other European countries. In the past, it was worthwhile filling up in France or other countries. This is no longer the case.
No-one wants to pay high prices for fuel or anything else. But unlike high energy prices there are some unexpected results of persuading us to use our cars less. It is great to see more people getting exercise from riding bikes. This is certainly the case in London with more cyclists and fewer traffic jams.
Some of the effects through Europe of rising fuel prices are beneficial including reductions in unnecessary journeys, in accidents, congestion and pollution. In recent years the road journey time to London has been the quickest for 25 years because of the reduced traffic flows and reduced congestion. This is the same on most motorways where congestion has been reduced.
I will, of course, take your views fully into account when considering the matter in Parliament with other increases in costs.