Friday, June 30, 2023

Mike Hosking: The gig is up on assisted petrol prices

It's about to be over.

Tomorrow our petrol goes up 29c per litre.

It's at that point you will realise, if you haven't already, what a madly, false world of cocked-up economics we have all been living in.

Money the Government never had was spent to save us from the real world. As we pointed out at the time, once you tap into that world of the false economy, you can't easily extract yourself.

At some point reality has to return and someone has to pay the bill.

The oddity was that it came in when oil was at about $90 a barrel and eventually headed to over $130 a barrel. It hasn’t been that high for ages.

In fact it's in the mid $70's, which is well below where it was when it started to become a problem in the first place.

If the Government had been smart they could have said that when it returns to the $90 mark, where it was, we will cut the subsidy.

In other words, say you'll offset the spike but when the spike is over you are back to normal. They didn’t do that of course. Instead they said they would end.

It didn't end. Then they said they would end it again. And then it didn’t. Again.

Finally, it got to be such an expensive joke they had no choice and this weekend it's all over.

So the warnings are out - fill up before there are shortages. And petrol companies are writing op-ed pieces pleading with the public not to take our frustration out on poor petrol station workers.

It’s a sad, mad and pathetic old world. Of course all this artificial expenditure comes at a price because it's inflationary.

It adds to our debt which, because of interest rates, is becoming increasingly expensive. It will also, as of this weekend, eat into our already meagre and stretched disposable income.

To add insult to injury, because the price is up the tax take is up. So a chunk of it heads to the Government anyway.

Free stuff or subsidised stuff is good news for many. Who cares who pays if it isn't you, right?

But like all things of this nature someone always pays. That's why the smart operators keep the bill real

That’s why they understand there is no free lunch.

We just pretend it's free until we can't afford to pretend any more.

And that day is Saturday.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings


Anna Mouse said...

It’s a sad, mad and pathetic old New Zealand!

Ray S said...

Was it not a subsidy but a reduction in the fuel tax take.
Auckland is paying 10c per litre to start with. Can't wait to see it spent on roads, not trains.