Petrol prices will soon rise by more than 22c a litre, as Treasurer Jim Chalmers stands firm against growing pressure to extend the fuel excise. But the Opposition is divided on the issue.

Petrol prices will rise by more than 22c a litre from next month, as Treasurer Jim Chalmers stands firm against growing pressure to extend the fuel excise cut beyond September.

But the Opposition is divided on the fuel excise, as some MPs openly call for the cut to be extended while the others remain staunchly opposed.

It follows Opposition leader Peter Dutton launching a surprise attack on the end date of the excise reduction – set by the Morrison Government – earlier in the week.

Mr Dutton doubled down on his position on Tuesday.

He told his Coalition colleagues at a party room meeting on Tuesday that the onus was on the new government to explain if factors behind the petrol excise cut being introduced – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising inflation – had changed.

Nationals MP Darren Chester went further, saying it should be extended until at least February next year.

“Where international circumstances haven’t changed and the pressure on household budgets is enormous … I urge the Treasurer to extend the excise cut,” Mr Chester said.

But Opposition Treasury spokesman Angus Taylor would not endorse calls for the cut to be extended, or outline would the Coalition’s position was on the excise.

“The government needs to develop a comprehensive plan,” he said.

“What we support is practical measures that are going to deal with cost-of-living pressures that Australians are facing.”

Cutting the excise from 44.2c a litre to 22.1c a litre in the March budget cost $3 billion, with then Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously advocating against an extension saying “you don’t just spend money forever”.

Mr Chalmers faced questions from his own caucus on Tuesday on whether the excise would be extended beyond its current end date of September 28.

He told his Labor colleagues there was no change to the government’s position that the excise reduction would not be extended.

Mr Chalmers has said cost-of-living measures had to be weighed up responsibly when the budget was “a trillion dollars in debt”.

Some Coalition MPs have privately advocated for pushing for the Albanese Government to extend it in the same way Labor campaigned for the Morrison Government extend JobKeeper.

Brisbane petrol prices are about $1.70 a litre at the moment.

The excise is set to end at 11.59pm on September 28.

Extracted in full from: Extend petrol excise cut to Feb next year: Coalition MP demands | The Courier Mail

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