Our gas costs 25% more than in Europe

Wave of public protest reaches Knesset over rising price of gasoline.

311_gasoline pumps (photo credit: Associated Press)
311_gasoline pumps
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The increase in excise and higher crude-oil costs sent the price of gasoline soaring in Israel at the beginning of the year, igniting a wave of public protest that reached the Knesset. The Knesset Research Department published its first ever special report on the issue, ahead of a meeting by the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee, chaired by Likud MK Carmel Shama.
The report states that the average price of gasoline in 15 Western European countries was 1.15 euros per liter in December 2010, while in Israel, gasoline cost 1.41 euros per liter – a difference of almost 25 percent. The price of gasoline in Israel rose even more in January, following the excise hike, to 1.52 euros per liter.
The Knesset Research Department says the price of gasoline comprises three elements: the gate price at refineries (representing the price of oil), the marketing margin of fuel companies and taxes.
The comparative study found that the marketing spread for the fuel companies in Israel, which reflects their marketing and fuel-delivery expenses and their profit from the sale of fuel, was 80% higher than in the European countries. Europeans pay 0.10 euro per liter for this factor, while Israelis pay 0.18 euro per liter.
“This means that Israeli consumers pay the fuel companies NIS 0.43 per liter more for the transportation and marketing of fuel, amounting to NIS 1.5 billion a year,” Shama said.
The excise factor is also higher in Israel than in Europe: Israelis pay 0.78 euro per liter in excise, 18% more than the 0.67 euro per liter paid by Europeans. These figures are for December, before the government raised the excise.
The study found that the price of gasoline in Israel has risen 53% since January 2005. The situation for diesel is even worse; its price rose 97% over the same period.
More than 100 drivers set out from Glilot Junction to the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem on Monday to protest against rising fuel prices.
Some of them beeped their horns along the way, and other drivers who identified with their cause followed suit.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.