Despite the government’s disagreement, the leaders of ruling Disy and Diko on Friday submitted a bill that cuts fuel tax by five cents a litre.
The proposal tabled by Averof Neophytou and Nicolas Papadopoulos provides for a cut in the tax rate for petrol, diesel, and heating fuel by €0.05 cents per litre.
It is scheduled for discussion on Monday.
Neophytou said the proposal is in lieu of a government intention to cut the tax on interest rate from deposits by €45m.
Papadopoulos tweeted afterwards that the finance minister’s disagreement was respected “but as Diko, it is a political choice to help hundreds of thousands of consumers by cutting tax on fuel and not the few depositors who have a lot of money in the banks.”
During his budget speech earlier, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades reiterated his opposition to the two parties’ intention.
He said it was the government’s position that the tax break should be afforded through a cut in interest rate tax from 30 per cent to 17 per cent, which was high compared with the rest of the EU and was only imposed on Cypriot depositors.
The minister said reducing the tax would encourage saving money, which was necessary for long term viable growth.
“On the other hand, the tax on fuel is comparatively low in relation with the rest of Europe,” he said. “Fuel prices for consumers are slightly lower than five to six years ago while there are also environmental reasons that must be taken into consideration and which did not allow the government o propose a reduction of this tax. But the final decision belongs to parliament,” Georgiades said.