No return of fuel tax rises as Costello ignores inquiry
Just 14 months after the Government established a fuel tax inquiry to contain a revolt over petrol prices, the Treasurer has rejected its key findings.
The Fuel Taxation Inquiry, chaired by an economic con******t, David Trebeck, recommended re-introducing twice-yearly fuel excise indexation to prevent revenue raised from petrol taxes being eroded by inflation.
It also said fuels such as ethanol and LP, now exempt from excise, should be taxed.
But the Treasurer, Peter Costello, yesterday said that fuel excise indexation was abolished in March last year in response to a community outcry "and the Government will not be revisiting this issue".
The abolition of indexation and the 1.5?-a-litre cut in fuel excise was singled out last year by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, as the turning point in the Coalition's campaign to win back regional voters.
The Trebeck inquiry said fuel taxes, originally introduced to pay for road improvements, were now used to raise revenue.
"To most people, buying fuel is something of a 'grudge purchase'," the inquiry said.
"For the most part, the tax component on fuel is resented. These views are reinforced when governments are not clear in explaining why fuel is taxed."
However, the Government has supported recommendations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for a consumer education program to explain why petrol prices can rise by up to 10? a litre in a day.
The commission ruled out regulating prices, finding that 60 percent of petrol was sold at below-average prices.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.