If the Government really is serious about helping lower the cost of living, then the expense that comes top of every survey going is fuel duty. Electricity and gas hurt us all too but by far the most unbearable cost for every household in the UK is filling the family car. And, yes, the Chancellor has done his bit by listening to FairFuelUK's entreaties and suspending 12 pence of duty rises since March 2011, but as I write diesel has risen to £1.47 and that feels anything but cheap. We saw what happened to the price of crude oil when there was talk of military action in Syria and that spiking caused by speculation won't stop anytime soon. One minute its Libya, the next Syria, then Iran. The oil traders look for any geopolitical excuse to play their dark games of oil roulette.
So to aid the delicate green fledgling green shoots of recovery (fingers crossed that they are growing at all) we need a decisive step to cushion the most powerful engine of economic recovery - consumer spending. A vast proportion of this country's GDP happens on the street and if consumers can't afford to get there, that GDP falls, remarkably fast. Only a two-year-old would argue that stimulating consumer activity by cutting fuel duty isn't a good idea and FairFuelUK have given The Treasury enough economic data to empirically prove the case. Now that the revenue flow into government coffers is a little more reliable there's money to afford a duty cut.
The Prime Minister has said that there will be no more duty rises in this Parliament but that alone isn't enough to protect us all from rising oil prices. To really convince us that his electoral promises of reducing household bills aren't just political posturing he needs to reduce the amount of tax we pay on our petrol and diesel. Politically such a gesture would be no bad thing at all and economically it would put money back into consumer's pockets and into the economy where the UK needs it most. I will be asking David Cameron for a face-to-face meeting to plead the pressing case for a duty cut. And I shall tell him that without one we'll be back to the black days of £1.50 a litre and we'll be recklessly trampling all over those fragile green shoots.