Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 891

Mr SINCLAIR —I ask a question of the Minister for Science in his new role as Minister Assisting the Treasurer on Prices. I presume that the Minister would accept that the price of fuel is an important element in the price of goods transported around Australia and in prices generally. I have no doubt that the Minister will also be aware that the excise on fuel has increased from 6c a litre when the Hawke Government was elected to 18.7c a litre today. The Minister would know that under the automatic indexation of fuel excise introduced by his Government there is a continued escalation of fuel excise which must contribute to the price of goods. What does he intend to do about that continued automatic indexation? Will he support legislation to terminate automatic indexation so that fuel prices will no longer continue to escalate and contribute to rising costs?

Mr BARRY JONES —I thank the Leader of the National Party of Australia for his question. As the right honourable member would know from his recollection of past Cabinet government, a decision of the magnitude of the pricing policy for fuel is not something that will be made by me in in my capacity as Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Consumer Affairs and Minister Assisting the Treasurer on Prices. Obviously a decision will be made at Cabinet level. Cabinet will consider in a Budget context precisely what we are doing. It would be absurd for the right honourable gentleman to think that he can get an answer from me off the cuff on an issue like that.