Fuel levies choking motorists – Solidarity

2011-04-01 07:28

Fuel levies, which have been double the rate of inflation for the past three years, are “choking” motorists, especially in Gauteng, trade union Solidarity said yesterday.

“The cumulative increase in the levies on petrol and diesel was 48.4 percent and 54 percent, respectively, over the past three years, while the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from February 2008 until the most recent figure for February this year was only 19.1 percent,” said spokeswoman Ilze Nieuwoudt.

“Moreover, the administered prices, excluding petroleum products, increased with 30,8 percent over the past three years. This is also a lot more than general inflation.”

She said prices which were determined by the government remained a driving force behind inflation.

The ripple effect of fuel increases would put consumers in an “economic choke-hold”, especially in Gauteng where additional toll fees may soon be charged, said Nieuwoudt.

“It is expected that retail prices of both petrol and diesel will increase to close to R10 per litre, or even exceed this level.

“This means that a consumer, who wants to buy a bread of R8 at a shop which is 4km away, will spend almost the same amount on fuel during the trip,” she said.

Solidarity warned that the increase in transport costs would possibly result in second round price increases of other products and services.

She accused government of not putting its words into action by decreasing inflation and keeping administered prices under control.

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