Cost of Living Crisis – a Case of Stand and Deliver

The cost of living crisis is morphing into a modern-day take on daylight robbery.

Published by Nigel Pritchard on Jan 29, 2023

It’s been five months since we updated our cost-of-living series of articles. Since then, Christmas has come and gone, though ‘goodwill to all’ seems to have bypassed the fuel supply chain. Or so it seems…

TheBoldAge has been tracking fuel and energy prices to understand whether they are justified, or if there is profiteering and by how much.

Given our earlier findings, we called on the government and regulators to take urgent and positive action. So, have the government heeded our call and those of many others and done something positive? Or do we continue to face a modern-day Dick Turpin,

Sad to say, but policymakers continue to procrastinate, whilst professing to sympathise at the plight of us everyday folks. So, what does our updated review reveal? Using our methodology, we calculated that petrol is 14% and diesel a whopping 30% higher than the fundamentals would suggest. Using a 66-litre fuel tank, this translates into an additional cost of £7.76 for petrol and £17.53 for diesel.

Whilst our analysis considers duty, green levies, crude oil and exchange rates, it does ignore the supply chains own inflationary pressures. However, one could argue their hikes would be cushioned, given many suppliers are fully integrated businesses. In our view, this omission does not even come close to explaining the significant differences we have found.

Given the current public sentiment, one could ask, why the government isn’t doing more to tackle these potential excesses? It should be an easy win. Could it be that the treasury are beneficiaries every time we top up our tanks? Taking the excess, we estimate that the government is benefiting by an extra £3 for petrol and for diesel £7. Quite a handy additional stealth tax.

Accepting we are not economists, if our findings are broadly correct then surely urgent action needs to be taken. Otherwise, the latter-day highwaymen are alive and kicking, shouting ‘stand and deliver’ every time you fill-up, certainly no Robin Hood.  

Interesting Links

Get help with the cost of living – Citizens Advice

Help with the cost of living | Age UK

Fuel falls by 9p a litre in December but is still too expensive, says the RAC | RAC Drive

TheBoldAge | alive and kicking in our 50s and beyond

TheBoldAge | alive and kicking in our 50s and beyond