Saturday 21st of May 2022

false claims by scomo and barney...


Australia’s two most senior politicians have made extraordinary and false claims about petrol prices this week.

On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said petrol prices would go up more than otherwise if his government was kicked out of office. But he provided no evidence to back up his claim – even when asked for it.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce followed up on Tuesday morning, telling ABC radio that Labor would increase petrol prices by ending fossil fuel exports, a move he claimed would devalue the Australian dollar.


There is no evidence for this claim, either. And Mr Joyce’s comments were riddled with falsehoods about Labor’s policies on fossil fuels and climate.

Petrol prices are already rising due to global factors beyond Australia’s control, while future coal exports will be decided by international action on climate change and won’t necessarily devalue the Australian dollar.

With the federal election just months away, The New Daily asked the experts to weigh in on the government’s latest claims about petrol prices.

Morrison’s false claim about petrol prices

Let’s start with the Prime Minister’s extraordinary claim on Monday.

Mr Morrison was asked about rising global inflation and whether it would affect Australian households.

He replied: “Australia’s economic recovery has to be secured by people who have a track record of economic management.

“Otherwise, you’re going to see petrol prices go up. You’re going to see electricity prices go up. You’re going to see interest rates go up more than they would need to otherwise.”

To understand why Mr Morrison’s claim is wrong, let’s take a look at what goes into the petrol prices Australians pay at the bowser.


Australia doesn’t produce its own oil – the vast majority of the petrol that powers our vehicles is imported from massive refineries in Singapore.

This fuel accounts for about 39 per cent of Australia’s weekly petrol bill.

The price of this fuel has soared over the past 12 months amid constrained supplies of oil and a global resurgence in road traffic after COVID lockdowns.

Petrol prices rose to more than 170 cents a litre in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane late last month, but have since begun to ease slightly as global oil prices retreat from decade highs.

It means Australians are paying more at the bowser than they were last year, but that has nothing to do with Mr Morrison or the Labor Party.

Oil exporters such as the OPEC nations and Russia (a group known as OPEC+) negotiate oil supply levels without any input from Canberra.

These supply levels ultimately influence the cost of oil and the price Australian importers then pay to petrol refineries in Singapore.

Canberra only controls one element of bowser prices: taxation.

The federal fuel excise was about 42 per cent of Australia’s weekly fuel bill in the June quarter, according to data compiled by the ACCC.

It is the biggest single contributor to petrol prices in Australia. But there are no policies from federal Labor or the Coalition to increase this tax.

The remaining 19 per cent of your petrol bill is determined by local retail margins and operating expenses. Governments could move the dial on this part of your bill with regulation, but Labor has no policies to do this.





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