Petrol price pain sparks calls for relief on excise tax

PRICE PAIN: Motoring experts believe most motorists will pay more than a $2 a litre average price for fuel from this weekend, if they aren't already.
PRICE PAIN: Motoring experts believe most motorists will pay more than a $2 a litre average price for fuel from this weekend, if they aren't already.

As fuel prices spiral beyond $2 a litre, motorists will have look elsewhere for relief at the bowser other than the federal government's tax grab.

There have been calls for the government to lower its excises as a short-term solution to rising fuel prices.

These taxes add up to more than $20 a tank for an average car.

No expert is willing to suggest when the pain will end as overseas conflicts and industry jockeying drives up oil prices.

Most industry analysts expect petrol prices to soar above $2.50 a litre.

Diesel prices are tipped to follow suit.

The growing embargo by western countries on Russian crude oil supplies, the world's second biggest exporter, could push crude prices to record highs.

The Australian government levies a flat sales tax on petrol and diesel bought at the bowser.

The current rate is 44.2 cents in excise for every litre of fuel purchased, adjusted in line with GST which is about an extra 10 per cent on top.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was questioned yesterday on the likelihood of the excise being lowered to provide fuel price relief.

Senator Rex Patrick from South Australia suggested the excise should be halved to provide relief to motorists.

Mr Littleproud pointed out that farmers do get a rebate or a concession on diesel used on farm but ordinary motorists are unlikely to see anything similar.

"We appreciate the soaring costs of fuel, and obviously the conflict in Ukraine hasn't helped," he said.

"And while I see that some of the minor parties are floating these ideas, say it's popular, someone's got to pay for it. There's a big bill when you do that.

"There are international levers at play here that are outside our control, and that's the challenging part that we're trying to work through," Mr Littleproud said.

"We've put out a lot of support during COVID-19; $92 billion worth of JobKeeper just to keep the economy going. And our economy is going well, but these costs of living pressures are high.

"And I know the Treasurer and the Expenditure Review Committee are looking through every line and how they can reduce those living costs, not just on fuel, but on childcare, electricity.

"And we've had some big wins on that, but we understand that the pressures that are there, and we're going to continue to work through that."

The excise raises about $11 billion in tax annually, which is used to fix roads.

This story Fuel price pain sparks calls for excise tax relief first appeared on Farm Online.