An increase in the fuel excise in next week’s federal budget would be an attack on working families, opposition frontbencher Anthony Albanese says.
The Abbott government is believed to be considering a three cent lift in the 38.1 cent per litre excise that could bring in $1 billion in extra revenue a year.
The excise has been locked at 38.1 cents since the Howard coalition government froze automatic indexation in 2001, and if it rose now millions of motorists across the country will pay more for petrol.
Mr Albanese said any increase would show the coalition government was “attacking the public through the (petrol) bowser”.
It would hurt working families “every time they filled up in their car”, Labor’s transport spokesman told Nine Network on Friday.
“It’s a regressive tax because if you live further away from where you work and you don’t have public transport options … you’ll pay more and you’ll pay it every week,” he added.
“(It’s) bigger than the carbon price on everyone’s personal motor vehicle.”
Government frontbencher Christopher Pyne labelled Labor “arsonists” for not supporting the government’s plan to scrap the former government’s carbon tax.
“They’re like arsonists that set fire to their neighbour’s house, then when the firefighter turns up to try to put it out they mug the firefighter as well,” the education minister said.