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Petrol Prices Rise in July Despite Fall in World Oil Prices

15.8.2000

In releasing the latest monthly petrol price monitoring for July, the Australian Automobile Association has expressed disappointment that the Treasurer and the ACCC have not investigated petrol price rises. The latest monitoring shows that despite a fall in world oil prices of $1 (US) per barrel between June and July, the average July retail price in capital cities rose by around 4 cents per litre.

 

AAA Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh, said that his organisation had expected the ACCC to investigate what clearly appeared to be unjustified petrol price increases following the introduction of the GST.

 

"Based on the petrol price monitoring for July, which shows substantial pump price increases at a time when world oil prices were falling, it is clear that motorists have been paying far more than they should have been for petrol," Mr. McIntosh said.

 

"The Government gave assurances that there would be no increases in petrol prices as a result of the GST. The ACCC should investigate whether or not there has been an increase as a result of the GST, and if so, how much. And whether or not there has been price exploitation under the guise of the GST. The ACCC also needs to look at refinery increases and margins as well as retail increases and margins.

 

"AAA believes that despite government promises, petrol prices rose by around 1.5 cents per litre as a direct result of the introduction of the GST, with the 1.5 cents going to the Commonwealth in increased excise," Mr. McIntosh said.

 

"This does not explain the remaining 2.5 cents of the 4 cent increase. This additional increase raises serious questions about whether or not there has been price exploitation under the guise of the GST.

 

"Motorists have every right to be angry about petrol price rises and about the failure of the Government and the ACCC to effectively monitor petrol prices. They are also going to be angry when they see the size of the next excise increase in February, which will reflect the GST impact on inflation.

 

"Motorists are already paying an extra 1.5 cents in tax as a result of the GST and a further 0.7 cent per litre from indexation in August. As a result AAA calls on the Government to freeze excise for the remainder of the current financial year and to look at abolishing indexation completely," Mr. McIntosh said.

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