Calls for fuel hike review

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ND Fuel Hike INLSA .

Yet another looming petrol hike has spurred demands for the government to step in to ease the burden on the public.

Reaching its highest level on record, a litre of 95 ULP (unleaded) on the coast will cost motorists R11.87 as of next week.

After the energy department’s announcement yesterday that the petrol price will increase by 28c a litre on May 2 – the fourth increase in as many months – Lance Greyling, DA energy spokesman, emphasised the need to act on soaring petrol prices that negatively impact on the cost of living.

“These price increases will affect the price of goods across the country. South Africans, already struggling with rapidly rising living costs, will be forced to pay higher taxi fares, and increased transportation costs will push up the cost of food over time,” he said.

Greyling said petrol prices had effectively increased by R1.61 since the beginning of the year. He said that over the past 10 years, the fuel price has, on average, increased by 11 percent per year and suggested a “comprehensive review” of all taxes and levies placed on fuel prices to determine which were necessary.

He said the Central Energy Fund, responsible for determining South Africa’s fuel price, should re-examine its formula for calculating the price, which is easily impacted by short-term fluctuations in the price of oil and the rand/dollar exchange rate.

However, economist Dawie Roodt slammed the DA’s suggestions to reduce fuel prices and their impact as “boring, unimaginative, unoriginal and at places totally wrong”.

Dawie explained that the DA’s proposal to review taxes and levies on fuel prices would result in government finding alternatives to “fill the void”, thus increasing personal income taxes.

He added that the DA’s suggestion to implement fewer increases on the fuel price was equally problematic and would necessitate significantly larger increases when these were made.

Dawie said April was an “awful month” for consumers because many price increases became effective during this month.

He explained that being the start of the State’s new financial year, many adjustments – especially those on goods and services of an “administrative” nature – were made and implemented during April. - Daily News

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