Cyprus Mail

Finance minister says government is monitoring fuel prices

oil fuel petrol 1
File photo

Fuel prices have been significantly reduced and the government will review continuing a VAT cut, which expires on June 30, Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said on Friday.

Parties have already filed a proposed bill to parliament to extend the measures. However, Keravnos said that these measures are meant to be temporary.

“Fuel prices have dropped significantly and therefore we will study the issue [reduced VAT] very carefully,” Kervanos told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) from Luxembourg, where he is attending an Ecofin council meeting of EU finance ministers.

He added that some temporary measures should not take on a permanent nature, as they do not generally help the economy or the fiscal balance.

“We will make our decisions in the next few days,” he said.

The minister also emphasized that in case the data changes, the government must have the financial ability to respond.

Meanwhile, he announced that he will hold talks with the EU Commissioner for the economy Paolo Gentiloni on the issue of imposing VAT on the acquisition or construction of a first home, after the adoption of the new law by the parliament, which needs approval from the commission.

“The goal is to support the proposal,” Keravnos said.

Regarding the prospects of approval for the proposal, he said that this will become clear after the meeting with the commissioner and the discussions that will follow.

Last Thursday, he approved into law a proposal that provides for the imposition of a reduced VAT rate of 5 per cent for the first 130 square metres at first residences, both for detached houses and apartments, with a value of €350,000, provided that the total value of the transaction does not exceed €475,000 and the total buildable area does not exceed 190 square metres.

Also, commenting on whether a special court will be created for people to appeal their non-performing loans, he said he has frequent meetings with President Nikos Christodoulides and the Central Bank governor on the matter.

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