Rising pump prices batter motorists

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Motorists must dig deeper into their wallets when filling up their vehicles with fuel as pump prices continue to rise, the Cyprus Consumers Association (CCA) said on Monday.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, Marios Drousiotis, the head of the CCA, said the price for 95 octane petrol has increased €0.308 per litre since January last year, while more increases are on the cards.

Diesel fuel has increased by a whopping €0.356 per litre.

“Unfortunately, it will not stop there.

“We estimate that by March, a litre of fuel will cost around 10 cents more compared to January 2022, an annual increase of 32%,” Drousiotis said.

He said compared to the last price recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, petrol and diesel prices have notched up by 17 cents and 22 cents, respectively.

Petrol prices in June 2020 hit their lowest level in recent years due to the restrictive measures introduced to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Drousiotis attributed recent hikes to geopolitical conflicts across the globe and the reluctance of oil-producing companies to step up production at the same pace demand is growing.

He noted that global commerce increased by 7% last year.

Pump price hikes come during high inflation, increasing by 5.4% year-on-year at the end of December.

Due to the increase in fuel prices, the government will see its revenue from VAT applied on fuel products also rise.

He argued that for every cent, fuel prices go up, the state makes on average €9 mln more every year.

“So far this year, the state has seen its income from VAT on fuel products increase by 19%.

“Now, we are told the government has no room for intervening in fuel prices, but it could channel this money elsewhere.

“We suggest they use the extra flow of income to withhold the increase on electricity bills, which will inevitably follow.”