Oil price: “Belgians save 1,500 euros a year”

Lower oil prices could save the average household in Belgium 1,500 euros in comparison with a year ago. Though the latest trend is up, the overall fall in the price of oil in comparison with a year ago means that both heating fuel and petrol have become considerably cheaper and that can have a big impact on the average Belgian's budget.

Stefaan Proost of Leuven University has worked out that the average driver could save 350 euros a year as petrol prices are 50 eurocents a litre cheaper than a year ago. Unfortunately for motorists the duty on petrol that makes up two-thirds of the price is not coming down.

Prof Proost believes the lower oil price is good news all round. The government will have to fork out less thanks to cheaper heating and travel costs. Inflation will stay low and as a result Belgian businesses could gain an advantage on their rivals abroad. The price of natural gas is linked to the oil price and here too there are savings for households and the government.

Prof Proost has worked out that a 30% fall in the oil bill equals savings worth 1.7% of our national output.