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PM ‘analyzing’ fuel excise cut extension

Plans to extend a cut to the fuel excise tax are being examined by the Albanese government ahead of the federal budget.

The fuel excise was halved for six months by the previous coalition government in March, in response to soaring fuel prices, with the cut slicing 22 cents off a litre of petrol.

It is set to run out by the end of September.

While there has been growing pressure for the temporary measure to be extended beyond its six-month deadline, the new Labor government has been adamant the full tax will be restored, citing budget pressures.

However, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has left the door open to keeping the tax cut in place for longer.

“We are examining it. We can’t do everything we want to do,” Mr Albanese told Sydney radio station 2GB on Wednesday.

“We’re having a look at the circumstances which are there, but we have made it very clear that with regard to petrol, the cost of the budget is so enormous. I just can’t see a way through on that issue.”

The government is set to hand down its first budget on October 25.

The prime minister has repeatedly cited the need for fiscal discipline, off the back of more than $1 trillion in government debt.

“We have to make decisions based upon there’s a limited amount of money,” he said. “We have to get the budget back on track.

“If we’re going to do issues like cheaper child care, if we’re going to offer support for cheaper medicines, which we will, then you can’t just continue to not worry about the budget.”

Petrol prices remain well below the peaks seen in June, with recent data from the Australian Institute of Petroleum revealing fuel is between 25 and 50 cents a litre lower than the highs of two months ago.

While wholesale fuel prices dropped by more than two cents last week, the national average for unleaded climbed by 3.6 cents per litre, the first rise in six weeks.

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