There have been loads of rumblings lately about skyrocketing fuel prices, but I have to say that I haven’t given it much thought until now. We have a small car and just fill it up when it needs it. No biggie.
But Jason mentioned to me the other day how the fuel station on the corner of Fitzgerald and Vincent Streets had a massive traffic jam because they were selling fuel for $1.14 a litre. People were queueing up 50 metres down the road to get in. Crowd controllers were brought in and it eventually subsided at midnight. MIDNIGHT?!
For a saving of $15 max?
I thought that people must be mad, spending hours of fuel (heh) whilst waiting to get in and fill up cheaply to save $15 in fuel. I mean, is it truly worth it?
Then it occured to me that many people aren’t like us. They are stretched to the max with high mortgages, 2 cars that are put on the mortgage, credit cards, you name it… that even the slightest increase in fuel, or interest rates, or some other fixed cost, can potentially cripple them.
With property prices getting higher, most young couples’ only option is to befriend a lonely old person in the hope they’ll be left a house in their will. Or move to a shithole like Ellenbrook/Rockingham and commute an hour to work every day…in their too-expensive-to-fill-up cars. Not only that, I have also seen people putting plasma screens and other valueless shit on their mortgage. I kid you not.
Australia has one of the highest levels of consumer debt in the world. And people are crippled with low interest rates and a fuel rise. I can’t wait to see what happens when interest rates eventually go up too.