‘Green’ taxes hit the buffers
A planned hike in fuel duty has run into trouble, with lorry drivers protesting. CS member James Turley argues that communists must take the issues seriously
On Tuesday May 27, several major roads in England and Wales were paralysed by long queues of lorries. The M4 and the A40 in particular were severely obstructed. Estimates for the turnout range from 300 to 500 trucks.
The hauliers were protesting an increase in fuel duty of 2p per litre, originally slated for April, but delayed by the government until October. It was an echo of similar protests in 2000, an early attack on a then-strong Blair government.
This time, New Labour is in disarray on the matter. Several Labour backbenchers have demanded the scrapping of the 2p increase; some call for further cuts. In response, the treasury and cabinet ministers point out that the immediate cause of high petrol prices is the massive increase in the market price of crude oil.