Labor is turning a blind eye to price hikes
Last weekend - while you were taking the kids to the beach, buying those extra back-to-school necessities, or for many, still counting the toll of recent devastating floods – unleaded petrol prices in capital cities rose an average 15 cents a litre at Coles and Woolworths outlets to a massive 143.9 cents per litre. And those ridiculous rises were matched in part by the Independents and other chains.
So what’s the story?
On Saturday, the wholesale price of petrol actually dropped by more than half a cent, yet on the weekend we were hit with a massive 15 cent increase. The size of the hike was described as “staggering” by FUELtrac general manager Greg Trotter. He rightly pointed out that the prices we are now paying at the pump rival those records in 2008 when oil hit a peak of $US145 a barrel. The big difference is that the current price of oil is only around the $US90 mark.
So, what’s the story? Or perhaps more appropriately, where’s the story?
Buried a few pages in on most major daily newspapers.
Have we truly become so accustomed to rising prices under Labor that a wild fluctuation like this is barely noticed? Have we been levied, taxed and beaten into submission by so many cost of living rises?
Labor used to talk a lot about the cost of living pressure on working families – of course, that was before they spent the surplus we had saved for a rainy day and decided to just whack us with an extra tax when that rainy day arrived with a vengeance.
The fact is Labor policy is driving many of the cost-of-living pressures we now face – especially rising utility bills that will be pushed up even further by Gillard’s carbon tax.
NSW Labor Premier Christine Keneally correctly identified Gillard’s flood tax as another burden on the already stretched family budget.
The point is – most family budgets are not elastic. There is only so far they can stretch. But Labor is either turning a blind eye or doesn’t care that cost of living pressures are becoming unbearable for many families. It’s a big slug on Australian families when you go to fill the tank and pay $10 more than you would normally
I’m not suggesting that the weekend fuel hike is Labor’s fault but they’ve been very silent and won’t even contemplate doing anything about it. Just because Labor was forced to abandon the costly and useless “Fuelwatch” scheme – which was anti-competitive and would have put further pressure on prices – doesn’t mean they should just drop the ball on this issue.
It doesn’t mean that they just sit idly by and watch people gouged and budgets stretched to breaking point by a ridiculous weekend hike in the price of petrol.
At a time when we are grappling with the costs of a massive recovery effort, and facing tax hikes courtesy of the Gillard government, the last thing we need is unwarranted fuel hikes further adding to the pressure. And yet all we’ve had from Labor is silence.
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