Hume Council Calls for Fuel Excise Reduction

In a decisive move aimed at alleviating the financial burden on its residents, the Hume Council has taken a significant step. During its latest meeting, council members unanimously agreed to address a pressing concern: the soaring fuel cost. By formally communicating with the federal government, the council seeks to advocate for a reduction in the fuel excise—a tax imposed on petrol and diesel purchases by the Australian Federal Government.

Councillor Sam Misho, a prominent council member, articulated the urgency of the matter. He emphasised that many individuals and families are grappling with financial strain amidst Australia’s current economic challenges, characterised by high inflation rates. Misho proposed a substantial 50% reduction in the fuel excise, stressing its potential to directly benefit not only Hume residents but also communities across wider regions.

Explaining the mechanics of the fuel excise, Misho highlighted its nature as a flat sales tax, applied uniformly on every litre of fuel purchased. The recent uptick in the excise rate, from 48.8 cents to 49.6 cents per litre as of February 2024, may seem minimal at first glance—just a mere 0.8 cents increase. However, this seemingly small rise translates into a significant financial burden when compounded over multiple refills. Misho provided a tangible example: for a typical large SUV with an 80-litre fuel tank, the recent increase equates to nearly $40 in additional excise costs.

The financial impact extends beyond individual households. Due to the fuel excise, Australian motorists collectively face a staggering bill of $67.6 billion over the next four years. For an average household, this translates to an annual excise expenditure exceeding $1,000—a considerable sum that weighs heavily on already strained budgets.

Moreover, the burden extends to local government services. The Hume Council estimates an annual outlay of approximately $500,000 in fuel excise to sustain essential services like rubbish collection. Misho underscored the importance of finding immediate solutions to alleviate these financial pressures, particularly given the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

While acknowledging the long-term potential of electric vehicles (EVs) as a sustainable alternative, Misho emphasised the current impracticality for widespread adoption. Given the prohibitively high costs of EVs and the prevailing economic challenges, relying solely on electric vehicles remains unrealistic for many residents. Hence, a reduction in fuel excise emerges as a tangible and immediate measure to ease financial strain for numerous families.

In summary, the Hume Council’s call to action reflects a proactive stance in addressing its residents’ pressing economic concerns. By advocating for a reduction in fuel excise, the council aims to provide tangible relief amidst the broader challenges of rising living costs and economic uncertainty.

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