By Daily Mail Reporter
Now they want to ration petrol: MPs back token scheme as prices are set to hit £8 a gallon by the summer
A petrol rationing programme has been proposed by MPs as prices look likely to soar to £8 a gallon this summer.
Households would be given a set number of free energy ‘tokens’ which would be offset against any fuel burnt in a vehicle or at home, under the proposals made by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil.
Under the Tradable Energy Quotas programme, surplus energy units could be sold and extra tokens bought.
The Coalition Government has so far insisted it has no plans to implement the scheme.
But the all-party committee of 20 MPs said its proposals were necessary to deal with global energy shortages and the climate change crisis.
It comes as the RAC Foundation warned that fuel could hit £1.75 a litre – £8 a gallon – in parts of the country by the summer.
Prices of £1.50 a litre are already being charged in the Orkney Isles.
‘Tradable Energy Quotas are the only way we can reduce carbon emissions and at the same time guarantee that everyone gets fair access to limited energy supplies,’ said Shaun Chamberlin, co-author of the report into TEQs.
But Luke Bosdet of the AA dismissed the idea as an ‘academic’s brainwave typically out of touch with reality’, according to the Daily Express.
He told the newspaper: ‘It sends alarm bells ringing because of its administration and fears of exploitation.
‘People will be allowed to trade units they don’t use, which as usual will hit the lower-income driver who becomes priced off the road.
‘It would be open for abuse by greedy individuals and politicians.’
High fuel prices have already caused five per cent of road users to give up their cars altogether, while 48 per cent of drivers say they are using their cars less.
Government sources say Chancellor George Osborne is looking at plans to slash fuel costs for British truck drivers.
Ministers believe that would prevent a repeat of the fuel blockades in cities and on British motorways which brought the country to a grinding halt in 2000.
The plans being examined would see hauliers claim back VAT on their petrol and diesel costs – or see road tax cut for lorry drivers.
Foreign truckers could also be charged extra for using British roads in order to level the playing field for UK hauliers.
Those with a 10 lorry fleet have seen their fuel bills rise by an average of £14,000 a year.
But the Chancellor is under pressure to go further and use the budget to help ordinary homeowners and small businesses as well as haulage firms.
Andrew Cave of the Federation of Small Businesses said yesterday: ‘After two years of very difficult economic conditions, small businesses are not able to absorb the cost of fuel increases.
‘They are either having to cut back on investments they may have made in new machinery or freeze wages or possibly let staff go or, the vast majority are passing those costs on to the consumer which is indirectly fuelling inflation.’