Fuel tax rises to hit petrol stations, new businesses

While Australia has some of the lowest petrol tax rates in the world, the federal government’s move to make twice-yearly adjustments to petrol tax will add half a cent per litre at the bowser. The Government has announced that it will increase fuel excise from November 1 and spend the next 12 months seeking parliamentary approval for that decision.

And more than one in three new businesses see fuel costs as the biggest barrier in trying to grow their firms, ahead of cash flow and attracting new customers, according to the latest MYOB business monitor.

The nation’s 6300 service stations will be hit with additional compliance costs of more than $800 per year, calculated at $5.06 million, according to Treasury estimates.

The excise hike, to be undertaken by regulation rather than legislation in order to bypass an uncooperative Senate, provisionally unlocks one of the government’s bigger revenue items outlined in the budget which until now has been blocked for lack of support on the cross-bench.

The government believes the move will put pressure on Labor and Greens senators, forcing them to choose between keeping the escalating revenue stream, or voting it down. The latter would force the government to pay potentially hundreds of millions of dollars collected from motorists back to oil companies.

Under the incremental inflation adjustments, this will raise an expected $167 million from motorists by November next year.

The MYOB report released on Wednesday found that while start-up businesses have enjoyed steady or growing revenue over the past year, they were less confident about the next 12 months.

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