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Despite being unable to pass the legislation in the Senate, the Government is moving ahead with plans to raise the excise on fuel, which will cost drivers at the pump.

The Government is using the same customs and excise loophole exploited by the then Labor Government to introduce a tax on alcopops. And while it claims that additional duty, due to commence on 10 November, will add only 40 cents to a tank of petrol, the Australian Automobile Association says it is more likely to cost around $3 per tank more, or an additional $135 per year.

The move effectively reinstates the twice-yearly indexation of fuel excise, which the Howard Government abolished in 2001. The revenue has been earmarked for new roads, which has riled the Greens, who refuse to back the legislation, because they want it spent on public transport. The Government has 12 months to retrospectively have the increase passed in the Senate, or the money will need to be returned, however, not to the consumer, but to the fuel companies.

Will the additional cost of fuel adversely affect your budget? Will you reduce the use of your vehicle as a result of this fuel increase at the pump? If the legislation doesn’t pass, should the money raised be returned to the motorist rather then the multi-national oil companies?

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