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eggshaped
341734.  Thu May 22, 2008 5:28 am Reply with quote

Eritrea is home to the most expensive petrol in the world. It has terrible supply problems due to shortages of foreign currency, they are still suffering badly from their war with Ethiopia.

Anyway, a gallon of petrol costs $9.58 there. Norway is second most expensive in the world, and the UK is third at $8.38 a gallon.

In Venezuela, petrol is 12 cents a gallon.

CNN

 
China boss
844009.  Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:42 pm Reply with quote

You see.. the advantage is Venezuela petrol is produced just off the shore of Venezuela where it is refined and then delivered to the people of Venezuela. This is a great advantage as it cuts out a lot of transport and other associated costs. The fact that Venezuela NATIONALIZED it's energy production and kicked the Oil company out is neither here. I Britain we have to get our Petrol from.. Scotland.. This is why there is all the extra costs.. not to mention the Shareholders of the oil companies.. I just want to ask when was I asked if my oil, gas, water, electricity, transport could be nationalised? Actually I was never asked.. so why am I paying for it?

 
CB27
844093.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:55 am Reply with quote

It's not as simple as all of that.

Firstly, with regards to distance, Scotland and England look big because of the mercator effect, but Venezuela is actually nearly 4 times bigger than the whole of the UK, so it's not about those costs of travel, there's other costs involved.

Secondly, the price paid for petrol itself in the UK is actually quite cheap compared to other countries, it's the tax that increases the price of what you pay at the pumps. Considering the UK petrol duty is higher than other European countries, the price at the pumps is not the most expensive in Europe (or around the world), this gives you an idea of how cheap petrol actually is in the UK.

The real difference between the UK and Venezuela is that petrol companies make a profit which is then taxed, while motorists pay a huge amount of tax, which is then used to maintain our infrastructure, while the Venezuelan Government subsidises the cost of petrol, spending the people's money on making petrol cheaper.

Venezuela loses about $1.5bn a year on subsiding petrol, the UK will look to make about $18bn from North Sea oil revenues.

I'm all for Nationalisation, I'd like to see the UK nationalise a number of industries, but it needs to benefit the country as a whole, and not be used as a political tool.

 
Posital
844280.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:28 pm Reply with quote

http://www.petrolprices.com/price-of-petrol.html

About 50p out of your £1.30 is for your petrol (inc distro)...

 
iamannoying.com
844291.  Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:11 am Reply with quote

Getting rid of oil companies doesn't help. I may be willing to sell you petrol for 13p a gallon, as long as the lovely government (i.e. you, but without asking you) pays the rest of the bill, and sustainability isn't considered to be an issue.

In reality petrol is far from expensive. Its price still hardly plays a role in decisions. Or, in other words: I don't think a lot of people in Eritrea own a car. If they'ld own more cars, their petrol-related infrastructure would be better in the first place.

There is, of course, no system with nationalization which benefits the whole country. It's a bit like Hong Kong or Singapore (about no natural resources), or it's the opposite of Nigeria, Russia or Venezuela (natural resources, somehow nationalized). If you'ld strike oil in Singapore, perhaps the best thing you could do now is to pretend it never happened*.

* Oil Windfalls - Blessing or Curse, Oxford 1988
* The Natural Resources Myth, The Economist, 23-12-1995
* Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth, Cambridge 1995

Or, closer to the UK: the government's budget in Belgium is about the Netherlands' budget, minus the benefits of the Dutch natural gas. Can you really, really notice the difference, and is that difference both clear and obvious? For one, visitors crossing the border can immediately notice the number of detached houses in Belgium, which are cheaper than houses in the Netherlands.

 
rewboss
844343.  Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:32 am Reply with quote

iamannoying.com wrote:
Or, closer to the UK: the government's budget in Belgium is about the Netherlands' budget, minus the benefits of the Dutch natural gas. Can you really, really notice the difference, and is that difference both clear and obvious?


Oh, yes. 15% of Belgiums are below the poverty line, for example, compared with 10% of Dutch people. Average gross salary is €4100/month in Belgium and €3700/month in the Netherlands, but average net salery is €1800 and €2000 respectively, so the Dutch pay less tax. The Belgian unemployment rate is twice that of the Netherlands.

Just looking at the number and cost of detached houses is not an indicator of wealth or even standard of living. Belgium has, for example, a lower population density (355/km² compared to 402/km² for the Netherlands), and much of the Netherlands is reclaimed land in constant danger of flooding and difficult to build on. This means that land is more likely to be scarce, and therefore expensive, in the Netherlands, affecting house prices quite considerably.

 
suze
844393.  Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:44 am Reply with quote

Is the Belgian economy actually affected much by the country's inability to form a government? Or is the current situation actually beneficial, since a new government - if one is ever formed, which begins to look doubtful - would probably need to introduce cuts in public services and/or raise taxes?

 
iamannoying.com
844524.  Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:58 am Reply with quote

[quote]Oh, yes. 15% of Belgiums are below the poverty line, for example[/quote]

Perhaps I should have said Flanders. Last time I checked I visited Joe's Bridge, near Lommel. The south of Belgium is poor, and is a reason why they still don't have a government.

[quote]Belgium has, for example, a lower population density[/quote]

Because Belgium attracts less people than a country with oil-related money, or should I say an oil-related social security system?

[quote]much of the Netherlands is reclaimed land in constant danger of flooding and difficult to build on.[/quote]

That's wrong. The centre of the Randstad for example, the Green Heart, hardly has any value at all. But a symbolic one. It's just not allowed to build on, an expensive luxury. Not to mention a needless tunnel, building under it is allowed (political reasons, it made no sense). Town planning isn't that good, yet another luxury.

The "Groene Hart" is what it is. Grab a bicycle, give the Zuiderzeeroute arround the 3 largest single man-made structures a try, and you'll get about 250 miles of rural areas with a higher environmental value than the Green Heart of the Randstad (not just a company supporting the Williams F1 Team) ever had.

The houses are also more expensive because the government waists a lot of money regarding home owners, who pay less tax. The saved tax is spent on buying an expensive house instead.

Another luxury are 2 similar factories, one in Belgium and one in the Netherlands. The percentage of sick workers was 3% (Belgium) conmpared to 8% (the Netherlands). Over 10% of 15 to 65 year old Dutch people were not capable to work at all, yet another luxury. Health Care is less efficient, yet another luxury.

If the Dutch net income is higher, you're ignoring the fact that a lot of that money is spent on a house that's not detached. By the way, the detached houses were just an example you may notice when you cross the border. You aren't entering The Poor Land if you enter Belgium.

Less income tax to be paid in the Netherlands, not to mention "a lot" of rich Dutch people having moved to Brasschaat, Belgium. Tax-related, of course-

Income tax 2010 in Belgium, single working person earning 40,000 euro: 13,113 euro
Income tax 2010 in the Netherlands, same situation: 13,739.48 euro

Unlike your numbers, the income tax in the Netherlands isn't lower than Belgium income tax at all. So that's not where the oil-related money is going to. I selected 40,000, because that'll be about average. The highest tax rate in Belgium is 50%, in the Netherlands 52%. That increases the difference if we'ld use an income higher than 40,000.

My Dutch tax example isn't a home owner. If (s)he ownes a home, substract about 42% of the paid mortgage interest, and add the money waisted on a house that was too expensive due to the "tax discount" (hypotheekrenteaftrek, a political H-word over there).

Money earned here ...

[img]http://www-static.shell.com/static/nam-en/imgs/544_wide/2009_map_gas_oil_reservoirs_nl.jpg[/img]

... is spent/waisted/invested elsewhere, and the Dutch don't pay less tax than Belgiums in a comparable situation. Part of the problem is that a government isn't specialized in investing. Before the natural gas in the province Groningen was found, there wasn't even a national debt. The oil-related income was, I believe according to a former prime minister Van Agt, "verjubelt". I cannot translate that, sorry, but if you'ld win £2 million in a lottery and you give 9 strangers visiting your lottery celebration party £200,000 each and you throw £200,000 away for fun, you've "verjubelt" your money and you still have to pay for the party. Even natural gas is quite expensive, due to impressive taxes and its price was linked to oil, thanks to Royal Dutch Shell end Exxon.

Anyway, by crossing the border it's not guaranteed to predict the real owner of the most natural gas, and Dutch houses are very expensive (compared to both Belgium and Germany, anyway) mainly due to the "hypotheekrenteaftrek" (mortgageinteresttaxdiscount) and, less important, the way towns are planned. If you want to pay less tax and a cheaper, detached house, don't go to a country with a huge natural gas reserve.


Last edited by iamannoying.com on Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total

 
iamannoying.com
844529.  Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:05 am Reply with quote

[quote="suze"]Is the Belgian economy actually affected much by the country's inability to form a government? Or is the current situation actually beneficial, since a new government - if one is [i]ever[/i] formed, which begins to look doubtful - would probably need to introduce cuts in public services and/or raise taxes?[/quote]

Not much, albeit the interest gap between Belgium and classical solid countries like Germany or Netherland has increased, so having their national debt is more expensive. In Belgium itself, aware of financial markets, the relationship between the parts of the country seem to be more important than any cuts-related issue. Of course the relationship has to do with (not) donating a lot of money to the nowadays poorer and "lazy" part, the French-speaking Wallonië. They are still debating about BHV (Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde) and 3 mayor-related "problems".

Perhaps the main problem is the fact that a new government has more power. Having more power could be required for sufficient budget cuts. Could. An advantage of the time it takes is that the new government will be more social and less aimed at Vlaanderen. Socialism on its own often is expensive, but the final solution for the federal structure may very well be more reasonable.

I think in an interview which took 3 hours, followed by a movie that took 5 hours ([url]http://programma.vpro.nl/zomergasten[/url], do they like long-lasting procedures?), I think the former "LibDem", pro-European prime minister Guy Verhofstadt hadn't a hard time explaining other countries have similar issues too. For example, the Netherlands have a government based on a minority, supported by the odd PVV of Geert Wilders (claiming he hates some other political parties too much to not support a moderate right-wing government, but he couldn't agree with all plans, so offically there's no majority). Or a north-south discussion in Italy, and so on.

If I had to be worried, I'ld first of all worry about financial markets "making up" a problem. On the other hand the delay is just a disadvantage of populism, split-ups and having a lot of participating greys.

 

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