National 'did nothing' on fuel prices - Bernard Hickey

Morning Talk 09/10/2018

The crusade against the fuel industry has been sparked further by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has reiterated her stance that excise tax is just a small part of rising fuel costs.

She told a post-Cabinet press conference this week New Zealanders have been “fleeced” by fuel companies, and believes a new Bill will force the industry to reconsider their prices and be more transparent with consumers.

Appearing on The AM Show on Tuesday, Ms Ardern said the Government will prioritise passing the Commerce Amendment Bill when Parliament resumes next week.

After it passes, Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi will seek nominations from fellow ministers for possible market studies before it takes effect.

"We are literally changing the law so the Commerce Commission can go in and demand information from the fuel companies," Ms Ardern said.

Speaking to RadioLIVE’s Mark Sainsbury, Newsroom Pro’s Bernard Hickey said the National Government sat on a recommendation from the Productivity Commission for four years.

“The Productivity Commission recommended the then National Government bring in these market studies powers, these are the ones the Prime Minister said this morning she was going to bring in the next two weeks,” he said.

“The previous Government sat on that recommendation for four years and did nothing; this is despite margins going up during that time and despite Simon Bridges when he was energy minister reading the riot act to the fuel companies.”

Listen to the full interview with Bernard Hickey above.

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