Petrol pump - photo Rama/CC
Petrol pump - photo Rama/CC

Tony Bligh, Plymouth Socialist Party

The rising cost of living has hit all aspects of working-class life. Many, unable to rely on an underfunded, privatised public transport system, have to drive.

My local petrol stands at £1.80 a litre, and diesel at just under £2. It’s increasingly unaffordable to commute.

I work three jobs, unable to afford the basics on just one or two salaries. One of my jobs is for a pizza delivery company.

It’s one of the few capitalist chains that actually pays for petrol, however, not in the way you think. For every delivery I make, £1 is added to my pay, on top of the too-low hourly rate.

In 2021, that helped with fuel and maintaining the cars we use to deliver. With the price hike, every time we make a delivery, we are making a loss.

Workers in my job are earning 40% less every two weeks, due to putting more money in the tank. Many are leaving, unable to sustain the cost. It’s vital workers get organised to demand an increase – like the JustEat workers in the IWGB union (see ‘The gig economy and casualisation’ at

Even as I write, the price is still rising! Within the space of 18 hours, petrol has increased by 3p per litre. The government is doing nothing to stop bosses hiking prices.

Shell made £14.2 billion profit in 2021, and £4.7 billion in the last quarter alone. While the oil companies and fuel retailers are run for profit, greedy bosses will continue to keep prices high. This is why the Socialist Party campaigns for nationalisation of the oil companies, fuel retailers and public transport under democratic workers’ control and management. Only then can prices be set unpolluted by the desire to maximise profits.