Fuel price continues steady climb



FILLING the fuel tank currently sets residents back about $1.03 a litre.

The rising price of petrol is nothing new, with the cost at the bowser creeping up ever so gradually in recent years.

However according to RACQ regional manager Bob Sim 38 cents of that $1.03 went to the government.

The federal government has a fixed excise of 38.143 cents per litre on fuel.

This figure will remain constant due to a decision by the government in 2001 to remove excise indexation (so there is no annual increase).

However despite calls by motorists to reduce the government excise on fuel, economists recently called for it to be increased.

The tax on petrol in Australia is less than half that charged in Britain, Germany and France though more than in the United States, Canada and Mexico, a recent media report said. The cost of the government excise is reduced slightly in Queensland with the state government subsidising the cost of petrol by 8.35 cents per litre. Mr Sim said the increase in recent petrol costs came about for a number of reasons.

'The main factor is the rise in crude oil,' he said.

'A rise of $1 per barrel of crude oil equates to about a one cent rise at the bowser.'

Mr Sim said winter in the northern hemisphere also increased the cost of petrol, with it becoming a precious commodity for generating warmth within colder communities.

As for the future of local petrol prices, Mr Sim said he believed the dreaded $2 a litre mark was still a long way off, but he could not predict what would happen in the immediate future.

'It's hard to say what it will do in the near future, but we don't believe it's going to fall in the short term,' Mr Sim said.



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