The Rt Hon Gordon Brown
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

A. citizen
100 Any Road
Typical Town


Date:   31st January 2008
 Dear Gordon Brown

Rationing Fuel is Fair- Taxing it is Not Fair

Mr Rich man prefers that motorists are subject to a congestion charge after all it will clear the peasants off the roads. City centres will return to earlier golden ages of motoring when only people of substance drove cars. Mr Rich man is also in favour of toll roads, this will free these roads to some extent from traffic.  He also, doesn't mind variable road tax for vehicles with larger engine sizes, after all he is rich.  However, he does feel that he benefits from the current cheap air fares.  As he spends a lot of time on overseas holidays, that even he couldn't afford to go on, so frequently, years ago. He also hopes that increasing fuel tax will reduce the levels of existing traffic on the roads.

Those of us who are not rich have nothing but smouldering resentment for government and the manner in which we are ripped off and continue to be ripped off here in the UK if we are motorists. For a full picture of the extent to which we are ripped off view:

Road tax is Unfair as is Road Charging. That this tax is spent on road upkeep is nonsense. Aren't we entitled to an explanation of what road tax is really used for?

The extent to which we are taxed is actually unfair. Some motorists really do NEED large vehicles, for example any family with several children needs a larger vehicle. When a product becomes scarce its price will increase.  Whilst at present fuel is not scarce, we all know it is a very finite resource. Whether the car designers can produce a vehicle that will go further on the fossil fuel that we use at present or whether there is an alternative fuel that can be developed that comes from a renewable source, there is a need for some control over the movement of people in order to reduce fuel consumption to essential journeys.

The present method to reduce the use of cars is the price method.  This is unfair as it discriminates against the bulk of the people who are not well off; it is even more unfair with citizens who have families. Anyone with money can use as much fuel as they require to go from A to B whether that journey is a sensible use of dwindling fuel reserves or not. Whereas Joe Soap has to pay more and more to get to work. Similarly the delivery of goods is subject to higher costs  because of higher fuel costs.

Rationing is Fair

Rationing is used where there is a shortage of some essential commodity or food.  It is only usually used when there is a state of national emergency.  Just because rationing is associated with times of war and emergency it should not be dismissed as being unsuitable as a means to regulate the use of vehicle (and other) fuel.  Rationing however inconvenient is fair.  Even the poorest motorist will receive his or her share of the government determined ration. With the development of the computer, the pricing of fuel (and anything else) can be controlled by a variable tax that can be linked to several other databases.  Without delving into the precise working of such a system of managing fuel consumption, I am presenting a few possible proposals as to how fuel rationing or differential pricing? could work:

 1. Every motorist is entitled to a basic fuel ration which has a fixed low tax

2. Motorists who have a family would have a greater ration -time to get married?

3. Car tax on larger vehicles should be related to the use of that vehicle -large families need large cars. People who live in rural areas may actually need 4x4's

4. People who live in rural areas are entitled to a larger ration

5. The fuel tax for fuel within the basic allowance can be reasonably priced -reduced!! 

6. If a motorist needs more fuel he or she will pay a higher rate for that fuel: except when special conditions apply

7. Special conditions could be identified to enable motorists who need more fuel for certain purposes to have more fuel at the basic fuel price. I am thinking, for example, of the increasing cost of fuel for those people, especially with families whose children attend sporting activities and events.

8. Once a motorist has used his or her basic ration the cost of the fuel tax will increase to the next stage

9. The rationing could be pseudo-rationing there is no limit to how much fuel one may buy! Just pay more. The concept of Fuel Control is acceptable, increasing fuel tax is not.

10. If and when fuel rationing needs to be imposed (and it will be, won't it?), the structure for its fair implementation would be in place.

 Even the non-motorist could have a fuel allowance this would encourage car sharing. Possibly the programming could be incorporated into the new credit card style driving license or into a vehicle licensing ‘card’  I do hope that the people who have designed these new style computer based systems have left capacity to allow interaction between different systems using cards, even the identity card?

Just a reminder, at present people are treated unfairly as the control of the use of fuel is managed by charging every motorist, irrespective of their means, more. Provided the tax is high enough this will work to deter unnecessary travel, but it is not fair, and any government that continues to follow this path will be likely to be voted out at the next election.

 Your sincerely

 A. Citizen

Letter received from the PM's office acknowledged receipt of my letter and thanked me for taking the time to write to him. He has assured me that the points that I have made will be carefully noted.