For a hot minute, the Federal Government has been claiming that the end of its fuel subsidy scheme won’t create an expensive price hike. They’ve been saying that just because the country’s 22-cent discount on petrol taxes will end on September 29, there’s no cause for concern.
Our Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, said as much in a September 20 presser. “Industry estimates that there’ll be more than 700 million litres of lower excise fuel in the system when the fuel excise is reintroduced,” he noted. “This is 700 million reasons why the price shouldn’t shoot up by the full 23 cents on the night that the excise relief ends.”
Moreover, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been running with a similar message. As the ACCC’s Chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, said, “We will shortly be engaging with fuel wholesalers and retailers to say that we do not expect to see uncharacteristic or abnormal wholesale and retail price increases in the days leading up to, and on the day of, or after, the reintroduction of the full rate of fuel excise.”
The Chair also said, “Petrol stations must not make false and misleading statements to consumers about the reasons for any price increases. We will not hesitate to name retailers should this happen, and the ACCC can take appropriate enforcement action.”
Nevertheless, just because fuel prices won’t skyrocket, doesn’t mean they aren’t going to get more expensive. According to an industry expert that spoke with Channel Seven, motorists might end up paying an extra 25 cents per litre of petrol. Such an increase would mean it would cost an additional $15 to fill a 60-litre tank.
The NRMA’s Peter Khoury believes that such an increase is still a little while away. This is thanks to the aforementioned 700 million litre fuel reserve. He asserted, “It will take several days in the capital cities and possibly even longer, up to two weeks, in regional areas.
It’s worth noting that the Federal Government’s fuel subsidy scheme was always meant to be a temporary measure. However, it’s never a popular decision to let petrol prices become more expensive, especially during a cost of living crisis.