ACCC Petrol Report an Exercise in Avoidance


The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has described the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) report on petrol prices, released today, as an exercise in avoidance.


AAA Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh said the report failed to address issues that were potentially embarrassing to the Government and failed to allay the concerns of country consumers about whether or not the 1 and 2 cent petrol grant was being passed on to them.


He said the report repeated misleading government claims that the Commonwealth excise take was reduced when the GST was introduced when in fact Commonwealth excise collection rose by 1.5 cents.


"The report identified that petrol rose by an average of 8.3 cents per litre in the first three months of the GST but ignored the fact that three cents of that was a direct result of higher taxes," Mr. McIntosh said.


"No matter how you dress it up, if motorists were paying the same tax per litre today as they were on 30 June, petrol would be three cents cheaper.


"The media release from the ACCC states that 'savings of up to 1.6 cents were possible but the timing of these savings is uncertain'. The full report, however, concedes that one-cent of the savings was dependent on an improved exchange rate, which has not happened.


"The report appears to have been written so as not to offend the Government. That is of serious concern to motorists and other consumers who look to the ACCC to protect them," Mr. McIntosh said.


"AAA will do a detailed analysis of the report and comment further when that analysis has been completed.

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