The Government, which is exploiting a loophole to bypass Parliament with its petrol tax hike, claimed it would add “just” 40 cents to the price of a tank.
But a leading motoring group said the true cost would ultimately amount to up to $3 a tank.
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Motorists reacted angrily last night. South Melbourne mum Bianca Abbey said the excise hike would force her to tighten her belt further.
“It will affect us financially, especially with some of the other taxes,” she told the Herald Sun.
Craigieburn nanny Emel Direk, who already pays $70 a week for petrol, said the hike would cause stress.
“It doesn’t help,’’ Ms Direk said.
From November 10, Victorian drivers will pay half a cent more tax on every litre of petrol — a figure that will rise every year, and which the Australian Automobile Association says will cost $135 a year by 2017.
Petrol was selling in Melbourne yesterday for around $1.43 a litre — of which 38.14c is fuel excise.
A furious Premier Denis Napthine, who goes to an election 19 days after the tax hike begins, said he would take his concerns directly to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“Any increase in fuel excise hurts Victorian families and hurts Victorian businesses and any such proposal … should go through the proper parliamentary processes,” he said.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann claimed the tax hike would cost only 40 cents a tank.
“The impact on households will be modest,” he said.
The surprise move by the Government to raise the petrol tax without first passing legislation came after Labor, the Greens, the Palmer United Party and the crossbench refused to back the tax rises in the Senate.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called the move “outrageous”.
“Today he (Mr Abbott) ambushes Australian motorists, ambushes the parliament of Australia and through the back door has launched a sneak attack on the wallets and cost of living of every Australian,” Mr Shorten said.
The tax used to rise every year until former prime minister John Howard froze it in 2001.
The Government’s move effectively reinstates twice-yearly indexation.
The Australian Automobile Association called Senator Cormann’s claims of a 40-cent rise a “gross understatement” and “propaganda”.
“If you look at what the Government is projecting over the next three to four years over the forward estimates it is substantially more than that,” AAA chief executive Andrew McKellar told Sky News.
“It will be adding two to three dollars each time you fill up the car.”
He said it wouldn’t be long before motorists were stung an extra $2 each time they filled up.
AAA modelling shows filling a 60-litre tank once a week will cost an extra $66 in 2015-16, $100 in 2016-17 and $135 in 2017-18, totalling $325 over four years.
The Government plans to use the revenue to fund its infrastructure program.
Frustrated by five months of blocking by the Senate, Senator Cormann turned instead to a legislative loophole — used by the previous Labor government to introduce a new tax on alcopops — to ram the tax increase through.
Senator Cormann said he hoped the Senate would “see sense” in the next 12 months and validate the move.
If the Senate does not retrospectively approve the hike, the money would have to be reimbursed — but Senator Cormann confirmed it would go to the fuel companies, not the drivers.
“It will go back to fuel manufacturers and to fuel importers who would essentially have a windfall gain at that time,” he said.
Greens Leader Christine Milne accused the Government of employing “sneaky tricks” but did not reveal whether her party would ultimately allow the move.
Motorists groups called on the ACCC to guard against price gouging as costs go up.
heraldsun.com.au 29 Oct 2014
Another criminal action by the 'government' / Abbott, where the police lay idle.
There are many (invalid) laws in Australia / Victoria that are hidden in plain sight and that are current that are designed to protect the people from the criminal actions of the 'authorities' but the courts do not abide by them.
The tax that they are implementing is actually unlawful.
The implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) is UNLAWFUL.
These are the criminal action of the people in government.