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Falling fuel prices could drop further

A bill seeing a reduction in fuel prices by five cents is due to be submitted to parliament by Diko before Christmas, boosting the decrease seen in the retail price of fuel in November.

The price of 95 octane petrol decreased in November by €0.072 per litre compared to the previous month, with the average price being at €1.247 per litre, the association said.

The price of diesel also fell by €0.048 per litre compared to October, selling for €1.332 per litre.
From November’s reductions in price on the two types of fuel consumers saved a total of €132,628, the Consumers Association said on Monday.

A price decrease was also seen in heating oil in November, which fell by €25 per thousand litres compared to October, as its average price on November 1 was €979 per thousand litres, with the price falling to €954 by the end of the month.

Despite price decreases for November, prices are still much higher than January this year when the average of heating oil was €825 per thousand litres.

The association highlighted the large number of residents of the Republic who travel to the north to buy fuel, noting that between January and October this year 12,538,017 litres of 95 fuel and 14,075,756 litres of diesel were bought from the north.

Petrol stations in the south recorded revenue losses of €1,463,758, which also brought about a loss of revenue for the state (via taxes and VAT) of €19,168,330, the association added.

Prices are expected to fall by an additional five cents if parliament approves a bill seeking to reduce consumption tax on fuel, proposed by Diko last month.

The bill, a part of a more extensive social package agreed by Diko chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos with the government and ruling Disy, is currently under review by the finance ministry, Diko spokesman Athos Antoniades told the Cyprus Mail on Tuesday, and is expected to be placed before parliament in December.

The social package agreed is expected to cost some €100m and involves an in-crease of €50 to low pensions, a five-cent cut in fuel tax and heating fuel subsidies for people living in higher areas.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, who took part in a meeting in November with Papadopoulos, Disy leader Averof Neophytou and Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou on Tuesday said he disagreed with the reduction in fuel tax.

Georgiades said he thought cutting the tax on bank deposit interest would be a better move.

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