There is a feeling afoot that there is some group taking advantage of high petrol prices to make a killing, to rip you off, to take you for a ride. That feeling is correct: the culprit is the Government.
At 166.9c for every litre of 95 octane petrol, the Government takes about 68c of that litre as excise tax. Sixty-eight cents. Every time the price rises ten cents they get just over four cents of that -- and of course that includes the extra 0.79c per litre in tax (plus GST) that kicked in on April 1, but does not yet include extra taxes proposed to build new roads like Wellington's Transmission Gully.
How much of every litre you pay for gets spent on roads? About 24c.
So when you fill up your Toyota Corolla (thanks to the Herald for the graphic), approximately $36.33 of every tank is going to the grey ones. Thirty six dollars and thirty-three cents, of which about $12.80 goes to build and maintain the roads.
So if you want to yell at someone when you fill up today, don't yell at the person at the pump filling you up; ring your MP and vent your spleen at them for being complicit in ripping you off. And if you want prices to fall, you could try lobbying the US Government to remove exploration restrictions and refinery taxes, environmentalists who oppose drilling in empty wilderness, rebels and insurgents in Iraq and Nigeria disrupting suppies, and intransigent mullahs and Mahmouds in Iran. Good luck with that. Just be happy that oil prices are still not at record highs.
LINKS: Petrol soars: get used to it - Herald
Why is oil so gosh-darned expensive? - Not PC (August, 2005)
Taxing profits stifles oil production - Not PC (September, 2005)
Oil at a record high? - Not PC (December, 2005)
TAGS: Economics, Energy, Politics-US, Environment