Although prices at the pump have finally started falling, the UK remains one of the most expensive places to fill up. Fuel prices were already rising before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but the impact of the war has made the situation worse.
Since the Russian invasion, drivers in the UK have been hit by some of the highest prices in 14 years. This is because Russia is one of the biggest traders to Europe, and is also one of the largest energy producers and oil exporters in the world. While the UK only imports about 8% of its crude oil from Russia, with plans to reduce this to zero by the end of 2022, the conflict has had an impact on the worldwide wholesale price.
In the Spring Statement in March, the Conservative Chancellor announced a 5p cut in fuel duty – however this is a drop in the ocean given the pace of inflation. The 5p cut was wiped out in days after the announcement, with petrol and diesel prices rising by 13p and 21p a litre respectively in the month after its announcement.
The impact on households have been huge. Many public service workers have told UNISON that they struggle to afford the petrol for their commute, and that there is no public transport alternative available. Others are reducing the amount they see family and friends, because they cannot afford to get there and back. Some, who use their vehicle to do their jobs, are thinking about leaving the public sector altogether because out of date mileage rates leave them out of pocket.
Mileage rates should reflect the rising cost of motoring. HMRC/ Agenda for Change/ NJC should review their rates. Local employers should change their rates to reflect rising costs.
Investment in making public transport more widely accessible and affordable. Eg bus discounts for key workers.