Australia to lift gasoline tax in political gamble
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Australia to lift gasoline tax in political gamble

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s government says it will increase an unpopular gasoline tax despite the Senate’s refusal to approve the hike.

Some analysts predict that an ever-increasing gasoline tax will prove less popular in car-loving Australia than the much-maligned carbon tax Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government repealed in July.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Tuesday the federal tax on gasoline at the pump will increase by less than a cent to 38.6 Australian cents (34 cents) a liter starting Nov. 10. The tax will increase every six months, in line with inflation.

If the Senate doesn’t validate the tax hikes within a year, the government would have to refund 120 million Australian dollars ($106 million) in tax raised in the current fiscal year to oil companies, while motorists would likely not be reimbursed.