COMMENT:

I ask the same question of the Prime Minister as I asked of Judith Collins when she launched the whole "let's pick on the petrol companies" circus last year.

What will you find, say, or do when there is no scandal? Or more specifically in Jacinda Ardern's case, what will you say when we find out we are not being fleeced?

Remember the comments about being "fleeced" came about when, under pressure, the Prime Minister was trying to sell a new double tax on petrol, namely the regional tax for Auckland and an increase in the excise tax. She was realising that the bulk of the price of petrol is going directly to her through her taxes so she did the political thing - and stalled for time by making an accusation.

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Collins did the same thing in calling for a report.

And here's the bit that never got answered, and never will, even if they find for whatever reason that the margins on petrol are unacceptable to those who are looking (and that's a story in itself) - what's a reasonable margin? Who decides? And having decided, does it then apply to everything?

But say they find margins are too high, what are they going to do? Regulate? Are you seriously telling me the Government will regulate petrol?

No, they won't because of the precedent that would set. It would be a disaster for a government that would start to look like Chavez, Maduro or any of the other nutters that have run their countries into the ground through over regulation.

All of this came about when petrol was $2.40 a litre. Now it's not, not even close, and the AA this week says it'll probably be below $2 by Christmas. So are we still being fleeced? What's happened?

Well, the price of oil has dropped, and the dollar has strengthened. And they are but two of a series of reasonably complex interactions that go into the price of a litre of petrol on any given day.

Now it's not all one-way traffic. Do petrol companies charge more where they feel they can get away with it? Yes. Do they discount to upend a local market and put pressure on other players? Yes. Do they do specials designed to undercut? Yes.

But none of that is new, predatory, illegal, unethical or anything other than business. The sort of business just about every other business in a competitive market place does as well.

So back to the inquiry, are they going to regulate the petrol market? No. Is there a scandal here? No.

Are we on the verge of wasting our time for politically expedient reasons? What do you think?