THE recent rise in fuel prices is unjustified and the taxation system must be revised, Consumer Association president Phryne Michael told the Cyprus News Agency on Friday.
“Despite the measures implemented by the energy ministry for more effective control in retail and wholesale fuel prices, this phenomenon still exists: When the price of crude oil increases internationally, then immediately prices in Cyprus also rise, and when price decrease (internationally) there is a delay in the price drop,” Michael said.
She referred to an opacity in billing prices in general, especially regarding the profit margin of the oil companies and petrol stations.
Michael also expressed the need for a revision of the taxes imposed on fuel (excise tax and VAT), which has increased over the past three years and which has had an impact on the price increase.
“Taxes are an issue which we discussed with the minister of energy and we said that it is time to look again at taxation on fuel,” she explained. “He told us excise tax stands at 49 cents a litre to which a further 19 per cent VAT is added. This is not logical.”
She noted that there is an understanding by the energy ministry about this “but they leave it to the finance minister to decide when the right time will be to change this practice, which is not expected to happen any time soon.”