Cabinet to decide on cost-of-living measures

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There were no decisions Friday on measures to buffer hiking inflation, diminishing Cypriots’ purchasing power, as the government postponed action until next week.

Following the meeting on Friday, government spokesperson Marios Pelekanos said that measures proposed to reduce the impact of price increases would be brought before the cabinet for approval next week.

President Nicos Anastasiades chaired a meeting with the ministers to assess measures to address the effects of price increases resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The meeting was attended by the finance and commerce ministers, the acting minister of labour, and the deputy welfare minister.

Officials reviewed measures already in place, considering additional horizontal and targeted measures that could be adopted for vulnerable groups.

They also examined recommendations by the fiscal council and the economy and competitiveness council.

The spokesperson said further meetings would be held in the coming days chaired by the finance minister on the president’s instruction, with the task of preparing a package of measures to be tabled before the cabinet next Friday.

“It will take some time for the finance ministry, in cooperation with all stakeholders, to analyse the situation in depth and specify the limits,” Pelekanos said.

Asked about the reduction of excise duty on fuel and VAT on electricity, the spokesperson said that these measures are expected to be extended.

Pelekanos said the state adopted new measures in recent months to tackle profiteering regarding fuel prices.

He added that authorities would probably decide to extend the reduction of the excise tax on fuel.

Cyprus is witnessing its highest inflation rate, at nearly 9%, in the past four decades, while consumer associations fear that the worse is yet to come.

The news comes as the European Union announces a new set of sanctions on Russia, with stakeholders fearing a further increase in the price of goods.

According to the Cyprus Statistical Service, inflation jumped to 8.8% in April from 7.13% in March, with the largest changes recorded in electricity prices (39%), petroleum (32%) and agricultural products (18.3%).

This is the highest inflation hike recorded since February 1982, when inflation reached 9.1%.