With diesel topping 120p per litre and a further 2p rise in fuel tax planned for the coming months, many companies reliant on road mobility are up in arms. Lorry drivers staged a protest this week, blocking the M4 from London to Cardiff. MP’s too have been protesting, against Alastair Darling’s proposed vehicle tax on older, inefficient models.
It seems that owning and running a car is only going to get more expensive – an additional household cost that is predicted to hit poorer families, long-distance commuters and SUV owners hardest.
But is it really such a bad thing? The government has pledged to reduce CO2 from cars by a third by 2030 and these price increases are a strong incentive for people to rethink their long-term reliance on cars and for companies to invest in energy efficient technologies.
That said, the situation is by no means an entirely positive one. Worryingly, the increase in fuel is a major contributor to a global food shortage, which is causing food price inflation to rocket.
“The food price rises are a result of record oil prices, US farmers switching out of cereals to grow biofuel crops, extreme weather and growing demand from countries India and China, the UN said yesterday.” (source).
A combination of increased oil and fuel prices paints a grim picture for the economy; now, more than ever, it’s time to rethink your habits, if only for the sake of your bank balance. Leave the car in the garage and jump on your bike for a start Got lots of heavy bags? Change of clothes? Gym kit? A laptop? No excuse – invest in some panniers and get pedaling. As for food prices – try planting some veges in your own garden – salad leaves like rocket and spinach can be expensive in those ready to wash packets from the supermarket but are surprisingly easy to grow – especially at this time of year. Buy locally produced food and be aware of what you use every week so you can avoid wastage. Easy!
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