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Petrol Prices Would Be Going Up Under National

Petrol prices would be going up, not coming down if the National Party was in office, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton said today.

National leader Jenny Shipley wanted petrol tax to be cut when crude prices increased earlier this year and the dollar fell

Benchmark crude oil prices are down to US$28 a barrel, from around US$33 at the start of this month, while the dollar went over 43 cents today.

"If the Government had followed Mrs Shipley's advice, the tax would now be going up as crude prices fall and the dollar strengthens," Jim Anderton said.

"Not only that, but if the Government had subsidised petrol through a tax cut petrol companies would have had no incentive to cut prices.

"National's policies would lead to higher petrol prices.

"Instead of Mrs Shipley's short term opportunism, this Government kept the pressure on petrol companies and consumers are reaping the benefit.

"Only two weeks ago the Government opened a website that allows New Zealanders to compare international crude prices with the price they are paying at the pump. Perhaps it is only a coincidence that within days the pump price began to fall. Or perhaps not."

The website can be viewed at http://www.med.govt.nz/ers/oil_pet/prices/index.html

Ends

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