• Apr 21, 2010
Through the power of Facebook, up to a half a million drivers in the UK are expected to boycott gas next month shortly before the nation heads to the polls for a general election in which Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Brown is fighting stiff competition for the win.
Many Brits are upset with recent gas tax increases that were supported and passed by PM Brown. Protesters hope that the mass demonstration will be the nail in the coffin for his chances of winning. Gas prices have soared in Britain, reaching U.S. $1.87 a liter (about $7.06 a gallon) last week. The numbers are a significant increase from a year ago when gas was only $5.55 a gallon. Further upsetting residents, the government pockets a whopping $4.42 from each gallon sold, yet still insists that more taxes are needed. Another government-mandated tax increase is scheduled for this fall followed by one more next winter and, frankly, many people are fed up.

On May 1st, protesters will go into action by blocking entry into local gas stations. As boycott organizer Jo Slater said, "We need to take action, the only way we'll see petrol prices fall is if we hit someone in the pocket." Additional protests are scheduled across the nation with support from the trucking industry and farmers.

Here in the states, we constantly hear complaints of gas prices that are astronomical. Sure, $2.80 might seem like a lot to us, but it's like a slap in the face compared to the UK's knock-out blow. Ouch. Our thanks go to Andy for this one!

[Source: NewsoftheWorld | Image: BradleyPJohnson – C.C. 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 85 Comments
      cozypaws
      • 2 Years Ago
      Taxes drive gas prices to over $7 a gallon in UK, mass boycott coming soon Yep coming to the good old USA.Thank you very much Chief justice Roberts
      • 4 Years Ago
      Raising gas prices is a great way to bring change. People will blame the current administration and and a new regime will be swept in. It's how the oligarchy control "Democracy"

      Or not. :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      yea, but you gotta remember that most of the cars driven in the UK are getting a lot more mpg than the ones here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      In America gas is cheaper than water.
      • 4 Years Ago
      $2.80 is nothing compared to fuel prices in most other countries. Most Americans don't realize how good they have it, and when they do realize it, most think they're entitled to it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Essende- wait, you think Europe is socialist? Hah...

        That's funny, considering that Europe contains more of the top 10 thriving capitalist economies than any other continent...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Can you explain why they are not entitled to it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I love when people throw the term "Socialism" around when they don't understand what it means.

        I don't know how taxes are collected in Europe, nor will I pretend to know.

        I *do* know that states aren't receiving as much help from the federal government as they used to, and that means higher sales taxes, higher property taxes, and higher taxes on fuel and tobacco.

        Infrastructure and government services have to be paid for somehow. If you don't pay your taxes, the whole system collapses. There is no freedom in anarchy.

        I'm getting off my soapbox now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh please.
        All "normal" European countries have 2$+/l and car prices are at least 2x the US list price.
        I can already spot the next headline. "Energy is getting more expensive!".
        Crude oil prices have little to do with gas pump prices.
        As most governments biggest issue is to figure out the economy balance sheet from year to year.. They pull quite a big buck from average Joe on gas tax.. Average Joe buys a more energy efficient car.. Government does not receive the same amount of gasoline tax $$$ anymore, oops.. 5 billion USD less because everyone is driving efficient diesels nowdays.. and the gasoline tax rises.. See the pattern?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Aeromax, well, in todays world it is really tough to define what is democracy, socialism, communism, capitalism (no such thing as a true free-trade capitalistic nation in this world, governments interfere in trades/tariffs/taxes/regulations). Reality is that USA is not as free as it used to be, there is more media censorship in USA than in Europe, on the other hand, European governments are a lot more involved in everyday lives of its citizens through health care/social welfare programs just to name a few. Whatever you want to call the system in USA or Europe, the collection and distribution of tax revenues is different. I would want more Americans to travel and live in Western Europe for few months just to see how messed up the current US system is (I just loved how some Republicans during the health care debate called Obama a communist, so many "educated" people there and yet they don't know what communism is). Of course Europe has its own problems but the safety net that Europe provides relieves so much stress from everyday life that it really can not be described in monetary value. USA spends too much on military and world operations, ignoring most of its internal problems such as crumbling roads/bridges and overall very stressed out society.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @MBS, well, I guess you and I have different views on the safety net. I find it preposterous to support poor people who have uncontrolled number of children, live in a ghetto, don't even attempt to improve their lifes on their own with honest work/education and yet, I, as a middle class, pay MORE taxes and I have to get my own health insurance and my own day care without any subsidies. In USA, there is no 30 day warning in regard to being laid off, in USA, government doesn't have low percentage (and I mean low percentage) loans/assistance for education or first time home buyers. I have also lived in USA and in Western Europe so I can also compare. I also came to USA with nothing but few suitcases and without any government help I quickly stood up on my feet through hard work so I don't understand the whole US welfare system and rewarding the "poor". Either offer subsidies to everyone or don't offer at all. Why should I pay higher taxes and get nothing from it. I guess flat-tax would resolve the issue a bit.

        Did you watch yesterdays ABC, CBS, FOX news in the morning? They don't talk about the world a whole lot, do they? But I do know that Britney Spears lost 20 pounds or Tiger Woods had a mistress, subject that has been killed to death for a lot of weeks. I guess it's not censorship but fear of losing corporate sponsors and stupifying the nation by providing useless news, and what is up with the entire cult of celebrities.

        As far as medical bills, again, try getting a private health insurance with a pre-existing condition. 3-4 years ago I couldn't really complaint on my health coverage. I am still young, never had any health issues, but the insurance rates skyrocketed and my deductibles went up to the point that I really don't see any point of having a health insurance except maybe for having an accident and requiring hospitalization, but even then, it would cost me thousands of dollars even though I do have a health care coverage due to insurance deductibles/restrictions/limits. If getting bombarded with medical bills, threatning to foreclose your house is not stressful then I don't know what is.

        I guess we can argue back and forth but one thing I do know, current US health system is broken for average middle class America.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Essende: I agree that there are lots of things that are broken in the US, but in my opinion things are less broken than in most countries in Europe.
        Yes "professional" welfare recipients should not be allowed, but frankly, living "off the system" is much easier in most countries in Europe and they do even less to dissuade it. Doing something to dissuade it would not be "proper".
        Sure the government does not directly offer low interest loans for houses, they do offer plenty of assistance however with things like FHA and HUD and tax incentives. Homeownership in the US is way higher than in Europe. Why should the government be providing loans? They are not a bank. If people had been content with buying homes that were inexpensive enough to qualify for FHA loans then we probably wouldn't have had this whole Mortgage "crisis"; FHA has very strict guidelines for how the loans can be structured to protect the borrowers from just those types of "creative" loans.
        Guess what, Bush was aware of this coming, and tried to put more government oversight over the banks and mortgage industry. He was laughed out of congress and said to "hate poor people" because obviously he was only doing that to try and prevent poor people from being able to own homes. In the very same spirit, Obama is was very much directly involved in (and benefited hugely from) creating the mortgage crisis, all in the spirit of "helping" low income families. Much help that was.

        I don't think that you could find a lot of people that would earnestly say we do not need to do anything about the healthcare system. It has some serious problems. But at the end of the day, the quality of care in the US is miles above that of Europe. It needs some fixing, but the new healthcare bill does nothing about solving the actual problems, all it guarantees is higher costs for everyone.
        Lets fix it, but lets not do it by modeling it after a system that is even more broken than the one we have.
      • 4 Years Ago
      But you have free healthcare, but you have free healthcare, but you have free healthcare, but you have free healthcare, but you have free healthcare, but you have free healthcare, Is this thing on, Nothing is free you leftist dimwits!!!!!
        cozypaws
        • 2 Years Ago
        Coming to the usa soon.Big increase in gasoline TAX
        • 4 Years Ago
        Neither is the my air you are breathing....so pay up!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I recall correctly, the standard in the UK is 95 octane, not the 87 here in Canada. That accounts for a small part of the price difference. Why do they use 95 as standard anyway?
        • 4 Years Ago
        "If I recall correctly, the standard in the UK is 95 octane, not the 87 here in Canada."

        The UK calculates octane via the RON method, whereas the US uses (RON+MON)/2. Basically, 95 octane regular in the UK is the equivalent of 90/91 octane in the States.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe that's the price of universal health care?
        • 4 Years Ago
        In ADDITION to high gas prices, Europeans are saddled with Value Added Taxes. Here in Germany the VAT is 19%. See Europe folks, that's where we're headed. So all you lemmings, jump on board....rest assured, it's NOT the gravy train you've been promised!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't be misled - you're still paying $7 per gallon for gas in the U.S., you're just not paying it at the pump.

        Add up all the actual costs of acquiring that gallon of gas, including wars in the Middle East and the vast militarty spending that goes along with it, terrorism, environmental damage, etc. then $7 per gallon for gas is probably a bargain.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not to burst your bubble, but gas in Canada is $0.99/litre where I drive to work (Greater Toronto) and that hasn't budged in about 3 months, the highest I've seen it was $1.20/L for about a month, and that was almost 2 years ago. If I have to turn down an F250 so my family can have free access to good health, I'm OK with that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Walt

        Europeans don't spend any money on national defense because they know the US does. Sure, they have token militaries but the only real military power on the Continent has a certain taboo about its armed forces. During the Cold War the United States was expected to protect Europe from any Soviet aggression. Don't believe me? Who else would have stood up to them? Finland? Denmark? How relevant that model is today is debatable, but that is how it was until well into the 90's.

        That you suggest Americans simply like to spend their tax dollars on fancy military gadgets and aircraft carriers is laughable. The Europeans simply get away with it because they know they can always call us for help.

        You can say the tax load is comparable, but the statistics say otherwise. Citizens of the US just have more purchasing power, and it has nothing to do with attitudes towards consumerism.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Leaving gasoline taxes out of the equation (which are in place mostly to encourage fuel efficient cars and use of mass transit) the total tax load in most European countries is very similar to the US if you take all taxes and charges into consideration and are willing to remove ideological blinders.

        The real difference is where the tax money gets spent. In the US a large proportion goes to military spending (currently the US has a share 47% of worldwide military spending). In Europe a lot the money gets spent for things like universal healthcare, social welfare programs, decent roads, functioning railways, modern infrastructure, etc.) So just take your pick.

        Most European countries don't charge (or only minimally charge) taxes like local property taxes, state income taxes and city income taxes. Capital gains taxes are lower in most of Europe.

        Even at say 20% European VAT can be a bargain compared to say 8% US local sales tax. In many states the sales tax gets charged every time an item gets sold. So if it's sold from a vendor to a wholesaler to a retailer the 8% (or whatever) will be charged three times. In Europe the VAT would never be more than the 20% used in this example.

        • 4 Years Ago
        That's quite a cheap shot. Canada has nationalized health care and we don't pay that much for fuel.
        • 4 Years Ago
        While the UK may sound like a cool place to live, the high taxes, bad weather, bad teeth, pale-skinned lasses, driving on the wrong side of the road, constant monitoring by Big Bro, and the overly PC gov't who just allowed Muslim medical workers to deviate from cleanliness standards is just too much for me to handle. Go USA!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I dont want the US to get the VAT. The thing is that is lot of the areas that have the VAT they do NOT have a income tax. But, ithe US the VAT will be ADDED and the imcome tax would stay. That is the big diff. to other areas. IF the US had a VAT and NO income tax then we it would be something to look at, but the now the US pays SO much in taxes when you look at the taxes on every thing. The people in the US better start look at that. INcome tax, fuel taxes, property taxes, taxes on cell and land phones, elec, etc.TAXES ON EVERYTHING
        • 4 Years Ago
        We Canadians are paying about $4/gallon for regular and we have health care? Sure its more than Americans pay but its not even close to $7.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The one thing this does strongly encourage is the use of fuel efficient vehicles. If gas was that expensive here in the US, we'd all be driving hybrids and high-efficiency diesel, as well as using public transportation. When the gas prices spike here in Massachusetts, use of the MBTA spiked as well.

      This would work way better than cash for clunkers, as it becomes a use tax for carbon pollution, while not punishing early adopters of fuel efficient vehicles (unlike cash for clunkers which punished anyone who had made the switch a year prior for instance when gas was expensive).

      Before someone screams tree-hugger, our lower fuel usage would aid the security of the US by reducing payments to countries that I'm not sure we really want to be funding, as well as helping road safety (big car-little car accidents, rollovers...), lowering pollution related medical costs, heck even LA could have smog-free'er air! Also keeping money here in the US aids our economy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They issue isn't really that we send money to bad governments, the far bigger issue is that we send money out of USA, which contributes to our huge deficit. Weather the money goes to Canada and Mexico or S.A-rabia or whoever else does not matter. This is exactly like the situation with China, we buy and buy and buy their stuff, while selling little of what we make.

        As i posted once before, during 2007 we were sending about 14 Billion dollars a week outside of USA for gas/oil products.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've lived in both the UK and the US. The British have always complained about the cost of motoring, and compared with the US, it really is astronomical. But it's human nature too to think that other countries may have better systems than you do.

      While British people complain of fuel costs, they also have excellent highway maintenance as well as free healthcare to go with it - if they had to deal with the diabolical quality of America's roads and suddenly get whopping, spurious bills in the mail for medical treatment they had six months previously stating they were past due and basically 'pay up or else' as is the case in the States, they'd be kissing every petrol pump in the UK.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Firstly, the top income tax rate in the UK is currently 40%, but the rates are banded as in the US. There are more income tax reliefs in the States than the UK, but there are far more capital tax reliefs in the UK than the US for people who are well off. Americans living in the UK get a raft of further capital reliefs for being non-domiciliaries. There are also tax-free types of income in the UK, such as interest income from ISAs and, in the event of being lucky, all gaming and lottery winnings in the UK are tax exempt.

        In the States, many jurisdictions impose state and local income taxes in addition to federal taxes, which you can claim tax relief on at federal level if you itemise deductions.

        In the UK, social security contributions for an employee are 11% of gross salary, but the income level to which that amount is payable is capped. In the US, you pay 7.65% plus your copays and other personal outlays depending on the insurance plan - but not everyone has access to good insurance coverage. And if you don't have medical insurance at all, the costs are punitive if you get sick.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Health care and petrol are two different pools."

        I didn't say they weren't. But let's adopt some common sense - Governments have to balance their books. You'll get motoring costs subsidised, or healthcare, or schooling, or maybe a varied mix of them all. But you won't get everything heavily subsidised.

        Personally, I'd rather have subsidised healthcare than subsidised motoring. It's a far better deal.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Health care and petrol are two different pools. I pay 6% of my salary as health care tax and my employer contributes another 27%, that is USD 46k in a year in total. I'm 27, never had a medical issue and hopefully will not in the upcoming future. I would rather lower that taxes and pay for my health care expenses myself or get a private insurance. That isn't an option however. :(
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Bruceincary, 10%???? Either you are on welfare or your math is way off. Take into consideration your income tax, property tax, sales tax, every tax that you can think of, and calculate that into your expenditures, I am willing to bet it will be a lot higher than 10% of your salary. You have a good health care insurance, enjoy it, it must really cost you a lot of money (also calculate it as part of your expenses) and chances are it is tied up with your job, the moment you lose your job, you lose your great insurance coverage. I would love to get my hands on the benefits that most government workers here in USA get, I wouldn't complaint either, but reality is a lot more harsh. If your employer doesn't provide a health care insurance and you want to get a private policy with pre-existing condition, good luck. The system in USA is good when you are young and healthy but a second something goes bad, your entire life will turn upside down very quickly, and that's where Europe shines. Look at the number of yearly bankruptcies in USA, a lot of them are associated with health care costs, and who do you think over the long run picks up the bill for that? Tax payer. I actually wouldn't mind paying more taxes and not have my insurance tied up with my job, good private insurances are very expensive, I don't think any average family income family can afford to spend $1500-$2000 per month just for health insurance. Cheaper policies have a lot of restrictions and high deductibles. USA needs to spend less on military and start to take care of their own people a bit better. I read that what USA has currently spent on a pointless war in Iraq, it would be enough to offer medical coverage to all of the USA citizens for over 25 years even without rising a lot of our current taxes. So its not like USA can not afford it, they just have other priorities. And before anyone starts the get better education so you can earn more debate, if everyone would be a doctor or computer programmer, then supply/demand would command for a McDonalds worker to be paid more since no one would be left to do that job.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A boycott sounds good, but any gas that is not sold on may 1st will be on may 2nd...
        • 4 Years Ago
        get yourself a bike then
        • 4 Years Ago
        pretty much why gas boycotts tend to be pointless.

        You'll either fill up on April 30th, or fill up on May 2, or WAIT you'll fill up at some point no matter what cuz your car requires gas.

        A true boycott would be getting rid of tons of vehicles and moving more to public transportation and carpooling...for like a year
        • 4 Years Ago
        If they are really sick of the taxes, maybe they can take a page out of America's book and dress up like public bus drivers and throw the gas in the Thames. But that's not very environmentally friendly.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @james:
        >they just ignore new laws that they don't like

        Having visited Italy, this is absolutely true. The Italians are a proud people.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Our problem over here, is that the government know that the British find protests and blockades rather distasteful. We are not the French. We tend to keep things to ourselves, so they can basically do anything they like.
        Funny how we're in a massive political war for the election on May 6th, and yet none of the parties have even mentioned fuel - they make too much money from it.

        My 2 litre Clio seems to rarely drop below 30 mpg no matter how it's driven, and even I feel like I'm over a barrel. Christ knows what people with V8s are doing... cutting holes in their floors and Flinstone'ing it, I guess.

        I remember the first time I went to New York, and I was absolutely amazed that the yellow cabs were running 3.7l V6s! All our cabs are diesel powered, without exception (not just the London cabs either) because fuel has always been, comparatively, incredibly overpriced.

        On another note, I read the headline as "Texans drive gas prices to over $7 a gallon in UK..." - I was already planning my revenge trip to cause some havoc in Texas, but then I realised I can't bloody fly anywhere anyway!

        I'm moving to Italy as soon as I can - they just ignore new laws that they don't like ;)


      • 4 Years Ago
      England taxes gasoline to fund universal health care, public housing and welfare/dole. That is why it is expensive.

      American's shouldn't have to feel "grateful" for "lower" gas prices.

      Newsflash: western europe IS socialist.
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