Parliament on Thursday approved another two-month extension for reduced fuel tax until the end of June, going one better than the government proposal.
By a unanimous vote, the House passed a law that will maintain the previous tax reduction rate for two more months, in a bid to provide continued relief to consumers.
The bill tabled by the government – which MPs amended at the last minute on Thursday – had provided for a new, two-month reduced excise tax rate on motor and heating fuels. But the government decrease corresponded to just half of the rate reduction that had applied previously.
As a result, with the MPs’ tinkering, the tax rate reduction will now revert to the full 8.3 cents on motor fuels – such as petrol and diesel – and 6.4 cents on heating fuel.
On the House floor, opposition lawmakers lambasted the government for having tried to halve the tax reduction rate.
Akel MP Andreas Kafkalias said that, at a time when people are being squeezed by inflation, the new government acted “disappointingly.”
He called on the administration not to veto the bill as passed on Thursday.
The president reserves the right not to sign off on a law passed by parliament.
Earlier this month, the government also decided to extend by another two months the subsidising of electricity bills.