Katter and Xenophon say no to four-cents-a-litre discounts
THE big supermarkets' promise to limit fuel docket discounts to four cents a litre is still not enough for two federal cross-benchers.
Independent South Australian senator Nick Xenophon and Queensland MP Bob Katter both hit out today at the commitment made last week.
Both Coles and Woolworths pledged to limit the discounts to 4 cents a litre, as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was investigating the dockets.
Coles said it would cease offering bigger fuel discounts to avoid a perception of adverse competition issues over time.
But the two politicians said it was not enough.
Senator Xenophon said the supposed discount would still be paid for through higher prices in the supermarket.
"And smaller independent supermarkets and service stations will still be driven out of the market by this unfair system," he said.
Mr Katter said the commission was to be congratulated, but the move was just "slowing down" the destruction of family owned businesses.
He said data showing 1000 independent service stations had closed down in four years, showing the dockets were "strangling the market and crushing competition".
But Small Business Minister Bruce Billson said the limit on discounts confirmed the major supermarkets would "fund them through their fuel businesses only".
"This means that consumers can be more confident that their grocery prices are not cross subsidising larger shopper docket offers," he said.
The commission said it remained concerned about the dockets and other similar industry practices, and would take "appropriate action".