Cyprus Mail

MPs call on state to do something about cost of fuel

Lawmakers on Tuesday called on the state to lower taxes on automotive fuel following continually rising prices at the pump.

The House commerce committee has invited the finance minister to attend a session to discuss the matter.

Committee chair Angelos Votsis said rising fuel prices lead to price increases across the board, which hurts the competitiveness of the economy.

Lowering taxes would stimulate business, generating greater economic activity and thus more tax revenue for the government, making up for the loss to state coffers from lowering consumption tax on fuel., he said.

Asked by reporters what parliament can do if the government declines to slash fuel taxes, Votsis said legislators have the power to reduce government revenue.

“But first, we’d like to talk with the government.”

According to figures released by the fuel price observatory, operated by the commerce ministry, on Tuesday the average retail price of Unleaded 95 climbed to €1.334 per litre, Unleaded 98 to €1.386 per litre, and diesel to €1.347 per litre.

Left-leaning trade union PEO meanwhile called for the imposition of a price ceiling.

A statement from the union said the government has failed to address the ‘rockets and feathers’ effect, and denounced the oil companies’ profiteering at the expense of the public.

The union did not seem to take into account that the state itself benefits from fuel sales.
In a report, daily Alithia described fuel taxes as a ‘golden goose’ for the state, which annually rakes in approximately half a billion euro.

The fixed tax on fuel works out to 49 cents per litre. On top of that, the state takes another 19 per cent on the sales price.

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