In 2000, Brynle Williams was one of the leaders of the fuel protests, against the rising price of fuel. The protestors were largely lorry drivers and farmers and they were accused of being Conservative supporters, at the time of the Labour Government under Tony Blair.
Now, the price of fuel is around £1.30 - £1.35 a litre, I am sure many of us are wondering where the protestors are now. I am NOT advocating action, but I am sure that I am not alone in being annoyed at the never ending increases in the price of fuel and the Government doesn't seem to be listening, let alone taking drastic action to reduce the cost.
Well, Brynle Williams was elected as a Conservative member to the Welsh Assembly in 2003 and is now their Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs. From memory, I cannot recall any major speeches or calls for action against the cost of fuel, from Mr Williams.
We have the unions talking of demonstrations against the cuts announced by the coalition Government in March. OK, people are going to be against the cuts, but if they are stopped, how would we finance the excess expenditure over income? These people are somewhat dillusional in thinking that there is a bottomless pit of money.
Most people in the UK, apart from groups such as the Socialist Workers, accept that something has to be done. Cameron promised a fuel stabilizer and there's been talk this week that George Osborne may forgo the 1p increase in fuel duty from April, this year.
Considering that 61% of EVERY litre bought at the pumps now go to the Treasury as fuel duty or VAT, this equates to 82.35p on a litre of diesel costing £1.35, so if you bought 40 litres, that is £32.94. Yes... almost £33 going to the Treasury for buying 40 litres of diesel.
In my humble opinion, I just cannot understand why the unions are threatening demonstrations against the cuts, yet if they targeted the Government over the cost of petrol and diesel, I cannot imagine many people staying at home.
We all need petrol to get to and from work. To visit friends and family, or go to the shops. Also, the same fuel is used to moved our food and goods to the shops and as it goes up in price, the cost gets added to the prices we pay in the shops.
For those of us in a rural area, we have little alternative choice, as public transport in no way resembles places like London. Being self employed myself, my work takes me around much of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. Not always on the main routes, but down the back lanes and into the remote areas, where probably many people born and bred in Pembrokeshire, havent been, as the County is blessed with such a large rural area, with the odd house/farm/small holding. Thats why I love it here.
As the price of fuel goes up, it means we are spending more on fuel and less on the other goods and services that we don't necessarily need, but choose to buy as they are nice to have, such as holidays, gym membership, cinema visits etc ...
As Council Tax is also to go up by about 3%, here is another cost we have to bear, whether we want it or not. Gas and electricity prices continue to go up.
And income? Well, many people are seeing pay freezes or cuts? So where are we all heading?
We have all been watching the protestors on the streets of Tunisia and Egypt.
The unions are fighting the wrong battle as most of us accept that cuts have to happen as we have been living well beyond our means as a country for many years.
Maybe the unions ought to be more clever and target their protests over the price of fuel as its something we all need to get to work. Its becoming more expensive to get to work so some must be wondering if its worth the cost of actually going to work.
I cannot believe that the likes of Brynle Williams is now silent over the cost of fuel and is not protesting.
I also find it an insult that fuel is now £1.30 to £1.35 a litre. Its not the oil producer, the oil shippers, the refineries or the petrol stations that are ripping us of... its the Government taking 61% of the cost of a litre. For Cameron to forgo a 1p increase is really an insult when what we really need to get us going is a litre below the POUND.
Unless the Government takes some serious action, I can imagine the fuel protestors will be back as Cameron doesn't seem to be taking the issue seriously. But then, unlike Cameron, Clegg and Osborne, I (and most of you reading this!) are not millionaires and not struggling everytime the price of fuel goes up by yet ANOTHER one pence.
Maybe its time for Brynle Williams to remember how he got into the Welsh Assembly and consider that the problem now is probably far serious now in 2011, than it was in 2000.