Pollies posture for bowser wowsers as fuel prices surge
An independent senator is pushing for fuel excise to be slashed to provide relief for motorists in the March federal budget, but Treasurer Josh Frydenberg isn't budging.
South Australian Senator Rex Patrick wants federal fuel excise to be slashed by fifty per cent, estimating the measure may cost $9 billion for federal taxpayers but told Flow listeners it was small compared to a rumoured $16 billion election spending warchest:
“Unfortunately the Morrison Government appears more interested in using its pre-election war chest to buy votes in selected electorates and from special groups that they are in helping Australia’s battlers.”
“Extreme fuel prices are a key part of the financial pressures bearing down on Australian families, and they are increasingly likely to stay as the Ukraine crisis disrupts global energy markets. Adelaide motorists are feeling a sharp pinch, but the price squeeze is even sharper across regional and remote South Australia.
Senator Patrick told Flow on Tuesday he estimated that motorists paid about $775 in fuel excise in 2021, based on approximately 35 litres a week in petrol consumption.
Hear Tuesday's interview with Senator Patrick on the FlowNews24 podcast:
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was disinterested in the 23 cents a litre cut to fuel excise, telling Flow on Tuesday:
"The fuel excise helps fund essential services Australians rely on including grants to the states and territories for expenditure in relation to road infrastructure investment."
"There are a number of factors behind movements in petrol prices including higher global oil prices, the exchange rate and supply chain disruptions.”
Senator Patrick foreshadowed on Tuesday that whilst the government might claim fuel excise helps to pay for roads, in fact it went into general revenue.