The government is “addressing” increases in the retail price of fuel, Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said on Saturday.

He said the matter will be addressed with “targeted measures”, as well as “strengthening the incomes of the middle class”.

For the moment, he said, the government has “set vulnerable people as its priority” and will therefore initially look to aid them with targeted measures.

Speaking on the issue at large, he said “we must realise that this is a European issue, an issue arising from the wars and geopolitical developments around us.”

He added that the government is “moving forward with other measures so that we can deal with it at some point.”

The government had implemented a blanket fuel tax subsidy last year, which took eight cents per litre off the retail price of fuel, but elected not to extend the subsidy past the end of last month.

In addition, a forthcoming “green tax” which will be implemented by the government later this year will add more to the cost of fuel, potentially adding another eight cents per litre onto the retail price.

Keravnos had said earlier that green taxes would not pose a threat to households and businesses but warned that people do need to “change their behaviours.

Also on Saturday, Keravnos said the government will “proceed with persistence and rapid steps” on the matter of multiple pensions.

He said he aims to “continue as we started” and expressed his hope that “there will be a similar response from everyone, because this matter must end once and for all.”

The Cyprus Mail had been told on Friday that multiple pensions currently payable to high-level government officials will, should Keravnos’ plans come to fruition, be replaced by a one-time lump sum payment.

At present, high-level government positions come equipped with their own lifetime guaranteed pensions, which are paid monthly to people who have held such posts once they reach the age of 60.

This, as a finance ministry source explained, “leads to some people, who have maybe been in parliament, or been House President, or been a minister, and had a high-level civil service role, or been President of the Republic, picking up four, or five, or even six pensions.”

While the source was sure that the new system would save the government money in the long run, they said the formula has not yet been drawn up to decide how much recipients would be paid.

“We are at the first stage of this process at the moment. We are working out how we can bring to an end the practice of paying multiple pensions while not violating the constitution,” the source explained.

The constitution plays an emanant role in discussions surrounding multiple pensions, as it is constitutionally stipulated that various high-level government roles, including the titles of President, minister, and House president, bring with them a separate pension.

Changing the constitution is out of the question, as that would require the consent of the Turkish Cypriot community, which has not had access to the government of the Republic of Cyprus since 1963.