AA demands fuel price cuts
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Fuel companies 'inviting' further scrutiny
The AA is calling for fuel retailers to drop their prices immediately, saying the current national price for petrol is simply too high.
Spokesman Mark Stockdale said the last time the average price was this high, the Government stepped in.
Stockdale called on fuel retailers to drop the price of both petrol and diesel by four cents a litre immediately, saying they never should have been so high to begin with.
"The AA monitors fuel prices and fuel company margins," he said.
"We've seen those margins have crept up in the last fortnight and they're above average."
A price jump of two cents a litre on November 24 should not have happened, let alone price creep in the weeks since, he said.
The national price for 91 unleaded petrol is currently $2.15 a litre and the price for diesel is $1.49 a litre.
In some parts of the country, like the Coromandel, Waiheke Island and the West Coast of the South Island prices would be dearer while in areas like Auckland, they would likely be cheaper, Stockdale said.
Company's profit margins had potentially increased in recent weeks because of a weakening kiwi dollar and the commodity price for fuel dropping.
"Then AA's view is they should be cutting prices."
Stockdale said Labour had expressed concern about fuel prices while in Opposition and now they were in Government the party should be looking into the issue.
"Where the margins currently are, we know in the past the minister of energy under the previous Government have voiced concern over margins going over this threshold," he said.
"If [companies] don't reduce prices they are likely to invite closer scrutiny."
The new energy Minister, Megan Woods, was looking into a review on fuel prices, which was part of the Labour/ NZ First coalition deal, a party spokesman said.
The inquiry into fuel pricing led by previous Energy Minister Judith Collins hadn't gone far enough and one option for the new government was to refer the issue to the Commerce Commission.
"The Minister has previously expressed concern that Kiwis are paying over the odds at the pump and that seems to be especially true for people living in Wellington in the South Island," the spokesman said.