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9 March 2022

Independent Senator Rex Patrick is stepping up his campaign for the Morrison Government to take action in the forthcoming Federal Budget to relieve the squeeze on household budgets by slashing the federal fuel excise by fifty per cent. 

“With some petrol stations in Adelaide now charging more than $2.20 per litre, surely Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg must now recognise the need to halve the Government’s fuel tax for 12 months to bring relief to struggling families and small businesses?”, Senator Patrick asked today.  

"When the Parliament reconvenes for the Budget session at the end of this month, I'll be taking action to force the Government to address this problem or explain just why they're refusing to help."  

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the necessary international responses see economists predicting that petrol prices in Australia could go as high as $2.50 a litre and are likely to hover near or above $2.00 a litre through this year.”

“This situation is already putting pressure on Australian families and small businesses, just as they are recovering in the economic backwash of the COVID-19 pandemic. Things will only get more difficult as extreme fuel prices accelerate inflationary pressures in the economy.”

“Extreme fuel prices, higher food and grocery prices and rising interest rates could prove to be a triple whammy for many Aussie families.”  

“Unfortunately the Morrison Government appears more interested in using its pre-election war chest to buy votes in select electorates and from special groups than they are in helping everyday Australians.”   

“While the surge in petrol prices is driven by international market forces, a major component of the cost of fuel is federal excise at the current rate, just increased at the beginning of February, of 44.2 cents per litre."

“The average motorist paid about $775 in fuel excise in 2021, based on approximately 35 litres a week in petrol consumption.”

“Every time you fill up at the bowser, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are there to take their cut, and they will take even more when the excise rises later in the year because of inflation.” 

“This is a highly regressive tax because family fuel consumption is largely determined by the necessity of travel to work, school, medical appointments and grocery shopping, not by the price of petrol, and poorer households are hurting the most."

“Rather than stuffing taxpayers’ dollars into more political pork barrels, Prime Minister Morrison should make an immediate commitment to help struggling families across the board by halving the fuel excise; immediately cutting it by 23 cents a litre in the Federal budget and keeping that reduction in place without any price indexation through 2022-23.”  

“The Government has the budgetary capacity to provide significant fuel price relief, given Treasurer Frydenberg’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook statement in December revealed a huge secret election war chest of $15.9 billion allocated to decisions ‘taken but not yet announced’.”

“As an independent Senator for South Australia, I’ll be pressing the Government hard to help Australian families and small businesses by reducing the price shock at the petrol bowser.”