The government has extended reduced excise duties on fuel until 15 January 2023 in a bid to alleviate the effects of soaring inflation driven by the war in Ukraine.
Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides called on Households and businesses to save energy as fiscal measures cannot tackle the problem of price hikes in its entirety.
At an extraordinary meeting chaired by Acting President Annita Demetriou, the Cabinet approved a bill to extend the excise tax reduction on fuel until January 15.
It reduces excise tax by 7 cents on Unleaded 95, 8.2 cents on Diesel, and 6.4 cents on heating oil.
In statements to CNA, Petrides said Friday the estimated fiscal cost is around €6.5 million, with the total cost in reduction of excise tax so far estimated at around €35 million.
“Cyprus remains the country with the lowest excise tax rate on fuel in the EU,” Petrides said.
He also pointed out that apart from government measures, fuel prices have declined by 19% for unleaded 95 and 8% for diesel and heating oil since their peak in July.
Moreover, Petrides recalled that electricity bills are subsidised by the third government scheme, which is in place until the end of the year.
The first scheme provided for the reduction of power bills by the Electricity Authority, the second featured a temporary reduction of the VAT rate on electricity bills, while the third provided for a government subsidy to buffer restoration of full VAT rates and to cover the increase of prices bills by the EAC due the rise in oil prices.
“The government’s measures to support businesses and households exceed €400 million.
“These measures alleviate the problem but cannot tackle the problem of inflation entirely.”
Petrides urged households and businesses to utilise the government subsidies for installing photovoltaic systems and energy efficiency.
Unleaded 95 Octane petrol Friday was sold at an average of €1.467 per litre, with the lowest price at €1.399 and the most expensive at €1.729 (this is the case for only two stations in Kato Pyrgos).
And 98 Octane petrol is sold at an average of €1.549. The cheapest was €1.494, and the most expensive was €1.75 per litre.
The average price for a litre of Diesel on Friday was €1.827.
The lowest price for a litre stood at €1.767, while the most expensive was €1.859.
Source: Financial Mirror