Fact checking Megan Woods on fuel prices

Wed, 01 Jun, 2022

“Labour’s interventions into the petrol market have failed to ease cost pressures on everyday Kiwis, and its Ministers are spinning like crazy to distract from it,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Megan Woods claimed on Newstalk ZB this morning that Kiwis are “paying less profit to the petrol companies than before our market study.” And that she’s “watching those (importer margins) like a hawk…the margin is around 28c a litre. And it was as high as 40.”

“Woods was being disingenuous at best and outright dishonest at worst. The data simply doesn't show any improvement since the Government’s market study.

“Trends actually show that importer margins were 31c per litre when the terms of reference of their market study were published in 2018, one year later when the final market study was published they were approx. 30c per litre, and today they remain at these levels, the latest data showed an importer margin of 31c for the week ending May 27.

“The Minister suggested that high peaks were in the past. If the Minister wants to deal in peaks and outliers, why didn’t she bring up that the margin recently bounced up to 37c per litre in March?

“In fact, when the second tranche of regulations came into effect in February 2022 the importer margin promptly began trending upwards again, still with no sign of slowing, and is now at roughly the same level as when the market study was commissioned in the first place.

“The reality is that margins for fuel companies are the same as they were before the Government got involved, and Kiwis are still paying exorbitant prices at the pump. The Government has achieved nothing.

“Minister Woods says its important Kiwis aren’t “fleeced to line the pockets of fuel companies”. Actually Minister, it’s your government and its incompetent economic policies that are doing the fleecing.

“Kiwis are in the midst of a cost of living crisis and are battling to make ends meet. The Government needs to admit that it’s the inflation it caused that’s hurting Kiwi battlers.

“The level of economic illiteracy in the Labour Party leads them to believe that petrol companies will just work for free.

“Labour are unable to comprehend the power of the competitive market and think regulation solves everything, that’s why they’ll fail in their reform of the supermarket sector as well.

“This is what happens when populist policy takes precedence over common sense. Kiwis need real change.”