Petrol Prices to Go Up Again


The Australian Automobile Association has warned motorists they will soon be paying more for petrol as the Federal Government continues to increase excise taxes.


According to the national motoring body, petrol prices will rise by about 0.5 cents per litre at the beginning of August when excise rates are indexed in line with the Consumer Price Index.


The Triple A's Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh, said today that motorists were bound to be confused by the rise as the Federal Coalition had promised during the election not to increase petrol taxes and inflation had fallen. The Government had also promised to implement a new petrol pricing structure which was fair, understandable and transparent to consumers.


"Instead, motorists continue to be hit with inequitable and hidden increases in the cost of petrol every six months," Mr McIntosh added.


He said owners of older cars would be hardest hit with the Federal Government collecting about 36.9 cents a litre in tax on leaded petrol after the latest rise and about 34.7 cents a litre on unleaded. The tax differential between leaded and unleaded petrol was increasing as a result of indexation.


Mr McIntosh said that indexation of fuel excise was inconsistent with the Government's objective of maintaining a low inflation rate as it continues the upward pressure on prices.


"It is time to break the nexus," he said. "Indexation of fuel excise only adds to inflation, is inequitable and encourages the Government to rely on a narrow source of revenue when it clearly advocated a different approach in its overall economic planning.


Motorists are entitled to a fair go from the Government, which should review the burden of taxes on the essential costs of transport."


Mr McIntosh advised motorists to fill up before Thursday (August 1), when the increases come into effect, and to shop around for the cheapest prices for the rest of the week as it could be a few days before deliveries of fuel at the new excise rate were made to some service stations.

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