Schillerova: Petrol prices will rise. ODS: Diesel is very cheap

Photo: Rudolf Komár, PrahaIN.cz/Alena Shillerova

The heat is on again in the House of Representatives. Lawmakers of the ruling coalition sought to cancel the temporary cut in excise duty on diesel. They consider the measure, which was adopted in June last year, outdated. However, opposition MPs are vehemently rejecting this as the consumption tax increase in the middle of the year will harm ordinary citizens. “We must keep the promise that the consumption tax will remain in force until the end of this year,” former finance minister Alena Schillerová (ANO) told PrahaIN.cz.

This week, the budget committee discussed a proposal to temporarily reduce the excise duty on diesel by 1.5 crowns, which it said would apply until the end of the year.

Before the extraordinary reduction, diesel was taxed at 9.95 kroner and petrol at 12.84 kroner.

Coalition MPs say the move comes in a tense situation that has already ended. Coalition MPs wanted to debate the withdrawal of the measure in rapid reading.

Opposition parties have objected to this

But opposition MPs rejected this and blocked the possibility of speeding up talks. This extraordinary tax cut will remain in effect for at least another two months.

“The move was taken in a tense situation a year ago when diesel prices shot up to 44 crowns per litre. However, since then the situation has changed significantly, and fuel prices have calmed down much earlier. We currently have the fourth lowest diesel prices in the EU.

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Therefore, we consider that the measure, which was supposed to be implemented by the end of this year, has been defeated. Now we have to think more about the state budget. The reduced tax will save the state almost eight hundred million kroner a month,” Deputy Chairman of the Budget Committee of the Chamber of Deputies Wojciech Munzar (ODS) told our editors.

At the same time, he rejected the arguments of opposition MPs who were opposed to canceling the reduced tax. He thinks their claims are nonsense.

“We wanted to discuss the matter in an expedited process, but opposition MPs blocked the process. The move would have extended the cancellation by at least two months. The opposition justified its move by saying that vacations would become more expensive for people during summer.

I find that ridiculous. I remember a year ago the same delegation rejected this measure. They said at the time that it was a trivial move that would not help anyone. Of course, everyone wants fuel prices to be as low as possible. But the loan cannot be cheap,” MP told our editors.

An upset Schiller

Former finance minister Alena Schillerová rejected the proposal by government representatives, calling it a “bland” reaction to the government coalition’s budget failure. He feels that the coalition’s proposal cannot be accepted before the summer.

“The ANO movement insists on strictly keeping the promise of reducing the consumption tax until the end of the year. Its increase in the middle of the year will harm Czech carriers and ordinary drivers, fuel is already significantly more expensive during the summer holidays,” Alena Schillerová told PrahaIN.cz server.

“Savings should be approached strategically, not as an impulsive reaction to one’s own, severe budget failure. Such savings can turn out to be very expensive,” the former finance minister said.

The state treasury is losing 727 million crowns a month due to the extraordinary reduction in consumption tax. The revenue of the State Transport Infrastructure Fund is 73 million kroner less each month. The government cabinet therefore decided to reduce the validity of the extraordinary measure by amending the law and on May 4 adopted the decision to cancel the extraordinary tax reduction for diesel fuel. The move was introduced by the government a year ago as a response to the dramatic increase in fuel prices caused by Russian aggression against Ukraine and uncertainty in global oil markets at the time.


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