Consumers want fuel, electricity subsidies back

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The Cyprus Consumer Association is demanding the government reinstates two subsidy schemes for fuel and electricity, scrapped in July, as the cost-of-living spirals.

The association’s chair Marios Drousiotis is warning that higher prices at the pumps, and consequently electricity bills, will be returning with the arrival of the next fuel shipment.

According to data collected by the Consumer Association, after the recent increases imposed on fuel, consumers are paying up to 19% more at the pumps compared to when the measure for a reduced tax rate was applied.

On June 30 (the last day of the fuel subsidy), the average selling price of 95 octane Petrol was €1.386 per litre, shooting up by 16 cents to €1.547 on August 18.

The average selling price of diesel on June 30 was €1.408 while on August 18 it was €1.559, an increase of €0.191. The average selling price of heating oil was €0.969 at the end of June, jumping to €1.109.

Based on estimates, for a 50-litre refill, the additional cost for petrol is €8.15 and for diesel €9.6.

Petrol prices climbed from July 1 after the government decided to scrap a freeze on consumer tax on fuel and a subsidy on electricity bills.

The measure was introduced in March 2022 to alleviate pressure on households from the hiking cost of living.

Drousiotis also pointed out that there were increases in EAC bills of €35 per month for an average household. That is €70 per two months.

July 1 also saw a €68.72 discount on electricity bills (bimonthly) scrapped.

In addition to the increases in electricity and fuel, Drousiotis underlined that in Nicosia, water bills have increased by 30%.

Since April 1, sewerage fees have increased from €0.55 to €0.70 per tonne, while the Nicosia Water Board increased the fixed fee by €3.

Drousiotis said: “The government’s fuel and electricity subsidies policy should be reinstated, as consumers certainly need financial help.

“Should the EU allow it, the consumption tax on fuel should be permanently lowered.”

It is estimated the state will recover €75 mln in revenue annually by restoring the fuel consumption tax.