If I was feeling pretty happy this morning about a short but successful to Orkney – and, believe me, I was – then a refuelling stop in Kirkwall (the main town in a county which not incidentally has some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in Scotland) dampened the mood just a peedie bit, as the local language would have it.
Fuel today is at an all time high of 142.94p per litre, which is higher than the previous record from 2012 when oil was $126 per barrel, despite today’s price being around $86. I’m not an oil economist, but what I do know is that 60% of the price (86.44p) tax goes straight to the UK Treasury in tax and VAT.
In remote areas like Orkney – and I just checked my receipt – it’s 150.90p per litre, of which 91.74p goes straight to yer man Rishi. In a little over two minutes the guy got nearly £40 from me. Which is something to think about the next time you’re filling up your tank. Or voting on Scotland’s constitutional future, come to that.
In six decades, resource rich Scotland has produced infinitely more fuel than it would ever need. Every. Single. Year. And we don’t have anything to show for it. Nothing. Nada. Not a penny.
Being Scotland, we are instead obliged to pay a premium rate for that fuel and expected to finance the treasury of another country with wholly divergent spending priorities and run by a government we haven’t voted for since 1955 and who then use part of our revenues to tell us we are too poor and wee and stupid to manage our own economy.
We beg for a piece of what’s already ours.
It’s bonkers, an insane state of affairs that can only be resolved when we finally get the vote on self-determination that our government was elected to deliver.
For goodness sake, let’s get this done.