Generally it’s an accepted view that it is good intentions that pave the road to hell. Doubtless, the French government had the very best of intentions when it followed through on an election promise and announced it would ride to the aid of hard-pressed motorists by hacking a full six euro cents off the cost of road fuels.
In the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity, the government was not alone in making sacrifices to ensure the cut came through. France’s treasury accepted a three cent cut in fuel duty, with the country’s retailers chipping in the other three cents.
The one snag is that it doesn’t seem to have worked.
According to data from France’s petroleum body, UFIP, and in common with a trend seen across other parts of Europe, road fuel consumption is in decline, a decline which is starting to border on free fall. As economies continue to struggle across Europe, was the cut too little, too late? Read the rest of this entry »