Letter: Budget blow

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The production cost of diesel fuel is less than 70 per cent than of the cheapest grade of petrol. In most countries other than Britain this differential is carried through to the tax-added price at the pump.

The extra tax on diesel which has been in position for years in this country, bringing its price into line with that of petrol, was already an unjustifiable dishonesty. The predictable retort that this is to adjust for the better economy of diesel power is not acceptable; the substantially higher purchase price of a diesel vehicle is part of the equation of outlay versus running costs.

Capricious and unpredictable changes to the relative price structure make any attempt to make rational calculations a waste of time.

Country dwellers with large distances to cover and no practical public transport tend to opt for diesel power. They are also, in so far as voting power is concerned, a minority group.

For the Chancellor to take advantage of this by imposing this savagely disproportional increase in diesel fuel is despicable.

On the other side of the Channel the rural communities would be demonstrating with tractors and combine harvesters on the motorways and horseboxes in the city centres.

PETER KELLETT

Kinlochewe, Highland

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