In his Budget speech on March 23, the Chancellor said he was cutting 5p from a litre of fuel which he called a tax cut for hard-working families.
I asked him on May 17 why those same families weren’t then paying less to fill up the car. He dismissed my question by implying there had been a rise in global oil prices since the Budget, yet the OPEC (oil producers) basket shows that the price of a barrel of crude oil was 0.77 dollars lower by May 17.
That arrogance and ignorance is becoming the hallmark of this government.
Last week the price of petrol jumped 2p in a single day taking the cost of a tank of fuel for the average car to over £100.
Ministers have now belatedly asked the Competitions and Markets Authority to conduct an urgent investigation into why the 5p cut hasn’t been passed to consumers.
It’s an admission that the announcement was about headlines and that they failed to take the necessary steps to ensure motorists would benefit. It’s a classic example of a problem at the heart of this government, they are lazy when it comes to detail.
After months of denouncing Labour’s plans for a windfall tax on the excessive profits of the oil and gas companies the government decided to introduce one on May 26.
Less than a fortnight later ministers were forced back to the Commons to explain why more than a third of the money raised in the windfall tax was to be handed back to oil and gas companies in tax breaks.
To date, they’ve failed to say just how much this giveaway will cost taxpayers but it has emerged that even the windfall tax will disproportionately benefit someone who owns three homes when compared with the support a low-income family can expect.
There’s no point talking about levelling up and benefiting hardworking families if the government’s basic instinct isn’t to be on the side of ordinary consumers.