THE government disagrees with an opposition proposal to cut the road tax for a certain category of diesel vehicles that mainly includes pickups and double-cabs of up to 2850 cc, the House transport committee heard on Friday.
Committee chairman Giorgos Prokopiou said the proposal affects vehicles between 2250 cc and 2850 cc.
Tabled by Akel, Diko and Edek, it provides for a reduction of three cents per cubic centimetre (cc) – to seven, from the 10c they pay at present.
The transport ministry said some 55,000 vehicles were registered in that category and the cost for the state if the proposal passed would be €4m.
Prokopiou said they have asked the ministry to inform them of the number of such vehicles that have been immobilised, because it was important for the committee to know how many owners would reinstate their cars. The Diko MP said many had put their vehicles out of circulation because they could not afford the high road tax.
Out of the 10,000 new immobilisations, 1,200 were pickups and twin cabs.
Akel MP Andreas Fakontis said the reason they wanted to reduce the tax was because a large number of owners of such vehicles belonged to low and medium income groups.
In the past, the high road tax was offset by the low price of diesel fuel, Fakontis said, but the price of diesel was now as high as petrol and this justified a reduction in the road tax.
He said the amendment of the law some three years ago created the paradox of the owner of a 42-seat bus paying €200 for road tax while for a 2800 cc twin cab it costs €300.
The Akel MP said they expected any loss in state revenues to be covered by the reinstatement of these vehicles and the substantial rise in the registration of new cars – up 31.4 per cent in 2016, 16 per cent in 2015, and 19 per cent in 2014.
The rise in the category in question was 36.3 per cent.
Fakontis urged the government to have second thoughts and support the particular group of motorists who pay excessive charges.