Diesel uncertainty fuels concern for farmers

The ball is in Labor’s court to confirm its support for the Fuel Tax Credits Scheme, following the Coalition’s commitment today.

“Farmers expect both major parties would be in lockstep in their position on this important mechanism,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.

“The NFF has been alarmed during the campaign by slurs from a number of the so-called teal independents calling the scheme a ‘fossil fuel subsidy’.

“This shows a complete misunderstanding of a farmer’s operating environment and the Scheme’s objective.

“Fuel taxes pay for public road usage. Fuel tax credits remove the cost of off road fuel usage for business purposes. They are not a subsidy for fuel use.

“The quickest way to supercharge inflation for food and groceries is to increase the cost of business inputs, including the removal of the fuel tax credit,” Mr Mahar said.

The NFF is also calling for the benefits of fuel excise reductions to be passed onto heavy vehicle operators, to help ease pressure at the supermarket checkout.

“The cost of freight and logistics is sometimes 30-40% the final price of groceries Australian’s find on the shelf, and one of the biggest cost of freight is diesel.

“Passing on the fuel excise reductions to heavy vehicles is an immediate and tangible way our major parties can demonstrate they are genuine about the cost of living pressures for ordinary Australians.”

Mr Mahar said the NFF believed the exclusion of heavy vehicles from the benefits of the reduction is a result of how road charges were set, and not an explicit policy decision.

“We understand this cannot be changed during the election period, however, both parties need to commit torectifying this situation and backdate the reductions for heavy vehicles to 30 March,” Mr Mahar said.

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