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State accused of not wanting ‘spend a euro’ to help its people

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The Cyprus Consumers Association on Monday called for more substantial help for those affected by high electricity prices, saying the state seems “unwilling to spend a single euro for the relief of its people”.

On Friday, Energy Minister Natasa Pilides announced a 10 per cent discount on electricity bills for the next four months, as well as renewable energy schemes aimed at long term savings for businesses and households.

The association challenged the announcements, saying that in reality, the new measures will not cost the state anything.

First it addressed the renewable energy schemes, saying that the renewable energy fund is financed through taxes, and putting these funds to use is among the energy ministry’s responsibilities.

The ministry cannot therefore present this as extra spending as in reality they will cost the state nothing, it said.

The statement further said that the state will receive over €20 million for 2021 just from VAT on increased fuel prices, none of which will be disbursed for the relief of those affected.

“The Cyprus Consumers Association expected, and still expects, that these €20 million will be returned to consumers” in the form of a further 10 per cent discount that will echo what has been done in other countries, where discounts of over 20 per cent were announced.

“Do Cypriots not deserve this kind of help and support?” it asked.

Finally, the association asked the state to consider using the €20 million for even the temporary relief of consumers, instead of announcing measures that will not cost it a single euro.

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