Why do we put up with these wild price swings?

Having just returned from a two-week road trip over the holiday period, I feel qualified to say that the people who decide how much we pay for petrol must make it up as they go along.

As we traversed three states over 14 days, we saw the cost of fuel roll from 110 cents per litre to more than 130 cents. It went up over the weekend, then back down when we least expected it. Obviously, we managed to time it all wrong and ran out of fuel every time the Powers That Be decided to ratchet it up a bit.

Why do we put up with this?

As Brandt Teal writes in the Daily Mercury, we simply would not accept this behaviour with any other daily essential. We’d be pretty peeved if we went to buy milk at Coles in the morning then learned that the price had gone down that afternoon, wouldn’t we?

And what if all groceries fluctuated so wildly? Imagine knowing you needed to fill the pantry on a day when the price was soaring… Most of us wouldn’t survive. We’d be phoning the ACCC, pounding on customer service counters, barraging Facebook pages and protesting to our local MP.

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Teal writes, “Why is it when that other important daily commodity, petrol, wildly fluctuates in price, we all sit back and take as gospel the rubbish we’re told as reasons for it. Sorry but I can’t swallow the excuse it’s because the price of oil changes.

“When oil was over $100 a barrel about a year ago, we were paying around $1.35 a litre. Oil has been under $40 a barrel for a while now but the petrol price still spikes around $1.35 a litre.”

He adds, “As for the price cycle, it should be renamed the price gouge.”

We don’t pay to-the-minute costs for our electricity, another commodity that fluctuates wildly.Are we all being taken for a ride when it comes to petrol?

Teal says, “At this rate, it’s cheaper to run a car on milk. At least the price would be stable.”

Do you accept the fluctuating prices of petrol? How much did you last pay?