Originally written by IAN LEWIS
PETROL prices could hit $1.50 in Hamilton if current worldwide trends continue.
Pricing experts tip pump prices could hit the $1.50 mark before they return to anything like normal levels.
Motorists in Hamilton last week were paying on average of $1.35 a litre for unleaded petrol and $1.45 for premium, while motorists in Melbourne paid anywhere from 129.9 to 139.9 cents per litre for unleaded fuel.
The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce has blamed the government, price gouging by refineries and bad luck for the recent jump in pump prices.
“With petrol hitting a record high on the Singapore market, a collapse in capacity from US refiners and the advent of the North American ‘driving season’ about to get in to full swing, motorists can expect little relief at the pump in the immediate season,” VACC executive director David Purchase said.
“When Americans hit the roads en masse in their big SUVs, world wide demand for fuel goes up and we all end up paying at the pump.
Mr Purchase said the government took 38 cents from every litre that goes through the pumps and then hits the motorist again with a further 10 per cent GST on every litre sold. The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria has stated that it will be highlighting the government’s policy of double dipping in the lead up to the federal election later this year.
It believes fuel prices will be an election issue when Prime Minister John Howard faces the polls. However, the Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has not committed himself to reducing the fuel excise completely, but has said he will cut GST from petrol prices at the pump.
This could save motorists $5 for every $50 of fuel they buy, which, at current prices, is not a lot of fuel, especially for country motorists.
And the future looks even bleaker with China set to join the rest of the world and have at least one car in every home and when this is realised, demand on fuel will skyrocket and prices will go through the roof.