National

Petrol spike a headache for school break

By AAP Newswire

Parents looking forward to a break with their kids as the school holidays approach may have to check their bank balance after a spike in petrol prices.

Weekly figures from the Australian Institute of Petroleum showed unleaded petrol prices jumped by 10 cents per litre in Sydney and 11 cents in Melbourne, while averaging a four cents a litre increase across the country.

Commonwealth Securities senior economist Ryan Felsman agreed it is not ideal timing as the school holidays approach this weekend.

"Motorists heading to the ski fields will need to budget adequately before they hit the road," he said on Monday.

"It's just another out of pocket expense households could do without."

Little wonder just five per cent of Australians believe they have gained personally from the nation's record economic expansion, now in its 27th year.

A national poll conducted for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia found 74 per cent of respondents felt the main beneficiaries were larger corporations and senior executives.

"A decade of stagnant incomes and cost of living pressures in areas like health and electricity are contributing to this feeling," CEDA chief executive Melinda Cilento said on Monday.

"Waning trust in business and politics are also likely factors."

The release of the report coincided with CEDA's two-day conference in Canberra.

Ms Cilento said economic development and reform are important for improving Australian's quality of life but if the community feels removed from the benefits from growth, then gaining traction on economic reform becomes more difficult.

As such, key issues around supporting business competitiveness, from reducing the company tax rate and red tape to supporting new industry ranked as least important by respondents.

The survey comes as the Turnbull government is attempting to secure Senate support for the remainder of its 10-year enterprise tax plan that aims to cut the company tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent for all businesses.

Delivering the opening address to the CEDA conference, Treasurer Scott Morrison argued extending the legislated tax cuts for businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million to all companies will benefit nine out of 10 Australian workers in the private sector.

"You want to boost economic growth? Let businesses invest more of their earnings back into their business - buying new machinery, hiring more Australians, taking on new markets and new opportunities and paying their workers more," Mr Morrison said.

Labor's finance spokesman Jim Chalmers disagreed, saying it's about giving tax cuts to the "top end of town".

"We will take every opportunity on every day that we can to remind the people of Australia that they have in office right now a prime minister who does not make them a priority," he told reporters in Canberra.

"Bill Shorten and Labor will make middle Australia a priority."