Petrol prices continued to rise this week and experts suggest students are among the hardest hit.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reported production limits, political conditions, and pandemic reasons as the cause of the highest prices seen since 2014 across Perth.

Students on campus
University students travel to campus to use the library facilities. Image: Anja Piletic.

A recent RAC survey found that over the past 12 months, 20 per cent of young people already reported struggling to pay for petrol.

University of Western Australia Economics Professor Bharati said students’ budgets are feeling the price hike.

“The first reason why students are worse off than others is because, unlike the workers who can set their prices, students cannot actively adjust the amount they receive in response to the rising cost of living.”

University of Western Australia economics undergraduate coordinator Professor Ingebjorg Kristoffersen said that this could cause problems for students travelling to university from rural and remote areas.

“Students in Perth’s inner suburbs are impacted to a much lesser degree than students who live further afield, and especially those who don’t have easy access to public transport,” Professor Kristoffersen said.

“But this is also a temporary shock, there is no fundamental change in supply and demand for petrol.”

Edith Cowan University student Jordana McBride said because she primarily drives to university, the rising prices have her thinking more about her spending habits.

“It impacts my weekly spending and it’s upsetting that I’ll end up spending more on petrol, so the money I’m now spending on other things will go towards petrol,” Ms McBride said.

“It’s making me use things like AfterPay more and use discounts to my advantage.

“After this week, I’ll start saving up for petrol because I’m scared it will keep rising.”

Both Mr Bharati and Ms Kristoffersen agree that rising oil prices have historically created positive changes, seeing a chance to boost public transport use and reduce Australia’s reliance on fossil fuels.

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