There gas for cars and private vehicles it has represented an increasingly significant share of Italian spending for several months, and Codacons is sounding the alarm. For some time, the association for the defense of consumer rights has been in the trenches on expensive fuel, but with the hook of the summer holidays it recently published one of the most worrying analyzes of recent months: on the wallets of Italians, gasoline risks weighing like a boulder and on all national motorway sections, the increase in costs makes travel on four wheels less and less convenient. Turning into a depressive factor for the desire to move, and to consume, of our compatriots.
The gasoline price bomb on holidays
The Codacons starts from an explanatory example to show the weight of the increases: “Considering the current price lists at the pump”, writes the association in its most recent information, “to go from Turin to Reggio Calabria” on one of the longest routes traveled by Italian citizens for summer family reunions, traveling “with a petrol car” covering “the 1,362 km that separate the two cities, an average of 330.8 euros must be taken into account today, between expenditure of about 69 euros compared to the summer of 2021 “, and an increase of 26.36%. If the car runs on diesel, “about 275.4 euros are spent, but the increase on an annual basis is higher”, equal to 71.9 euros (+ 35.33%). If you decide to travel the maximum distance possible on the motorway in Italy, moving from Bolzano to Trapani, the 1646 kilometers would cost travelers 399.9 euros with petrol (+ 26.4%, with an increase of 83.5 euros) and 332.8 euros with diesel (+ 36.78% and an increase of 86, 8 euros). The increases are on average settled between a minimum of + 25% for petrol and the record level of growth in the Bolzano-Trapani for diesel in the routes monitored by Codacons.
And the growth is absolutely in line with the increases at the pump highlighted in the previous report by Codacons, which indicates that gasoline cost (as of June 30, 2022) 25.6% more than the same period of 2021, while diesel has risen by the 34.8%. In both cases we are talking about values close to or higher than two euros per liter which without the cut in excise duties decided by the Draghi government would be equal to 2.4 euros.
The causes of the price increases
Here a difficult and complex short-circuit is created between the global price of oil and that of gasoline that we had already had the opportunity to underline in these columns. Oil, the Codacons information notes recall, since the beginning of Russo-Ukrainian war and the hardest phase of the energy storm reached its peak on March 9, 2022, when Brent reached the $ 131 a barrel mark. At the time, petrol cost an average of 2.048 euros per liter in self mode, 1.966 euros for diesel without the cut in excise duties (30.5 cents) discounted by the Draghi government on 22 March. Today, therefore, the price is much higher. We remind you that processes such as processing, refining, storage and distribution of the finished product maintain their cost, increasing the gap in any case between the final price of the products and that of the energy raw material, whose impact on the price of fuels is stands at around 20%, or one fifth of the final value, with peaks of 25% in some types of diesel. But for the Codacons there is also a factor-speculation, so much so that the association has presented exhibits in various prosecutors in Italy on the subject.
The gas? It also impacts on spending
For Italian citizens, the price increase could amount to 664 euros per year per family, and the possible choice to enjoy the summer holidays could further increase this gap. This, it must be said, only for filling the pump. In reality, expensive fuels have an even more ruinous multiplier effect if looked at in perspective: it affects every sector, because all finished products in large-scale distribution and not only also incorporate transport costs which, to a large extent, in Italy they are linked to road mobility, which has the greatest impact. All this, together with expensive energy, brings a perfect storm to the food industry and the most critical sectors in this area.
Istat in June estimated that in 2022 the food spending will cost Italians 8.1 billion euros more. This means that every single citizen will see his or her family spend 137.33 euros more per year for simple food consumption. From this point of view, the trend in the weight of the transport node is confirmed in the fact that the vegetables and fruitlinked more to transport from the place of collection to that of distribution and affected by the need to maintain the cold chain in many cases, will cost Italians respectively 1.95 and 0.84 billion more, absorbing a large share of the price increases.
All this testifies to how expensive gasoline, together with expensive energy, is likely to be one hidden tax hateful for several reasons: first of all, because it is highly regressive and unequal, since it strikes more when income falls. Secondly, because it is highly anti-economic, given that, to limit ourselves to the topic of the Codacons report cited, the increases impact on the choice of citizens on whether to go on vacation or not and depress the introduction of money into the economy.
Price increases everywhere
After all, Italian spending for holidays is not burdened by fuel alone: a small, but still annoying, further tax could come from the increase in motorway tolls, which according to Aspi rumors could expand by 1.3-1.5% in the coming weeks, even moving in other ways is not necessarily cheaper. On the one hand, there is a year-on-year growth of ferries (+ 18.7%) while a real boom is being known by the aeronautical sector, subjected to considerable management costs and difficulties in rebuilding economies of scale after the break. forced by Covid. The Codacons emphasizes that i domestic flights cost a third more than last year (+ 33.3%) while the rates of international flights have more than doubled, even reaching + 124.1%. Only the railway routes, which mark a -9.9%, reflecting the strategic role that trains could have for economically sustainable mobility in the coming years.
The fact that directly or indirectly gasoline and other fuels are having such a significant weight on the incomes of Italians is unprecedented in the recent history of the country and invites us to reflect on the recessive risks that this generalized depression poses. Confcommercio has come to estimate that the aggregate of energy, gas and fuels will cost every Italian citizen, in 2022, 1,854 euros which, on average in 2022, represents 9.7% of the per capita income destined for consumption in the country. A value never recorded before. Which in the period of the summer holidays expands and consolidates. Leading to the risk of de-development for a country in which, in this phase, social unrest, economic uncertainties and inequalities increase.
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