Fuel companies accused of ‘gobbling up’ tax cuts

PM challenges drivers to expose greedy suppliers

Fuel companies have been accused of ‘gobbling up’ the government’s carefully-targetted tax cuts before they reach the pumps.

Yesterday should have seen marked falls in the prices of both petrol and diesel.

But to the dismay of hundreds of thousands of drivers who had waited all weekend to refill their tanks, the falls were a long way short of expectations.

Prime minister António Costa is described as “irritated” and has “thrown ASAE (the health and safety agency) at the sector” to try to ensure suppliers fall in line.

He has also tweeted that drivers “should look at their receipts to guarantee” the fuel they have purchased reflects the promised discounts.

In other words, drivers themselves are encouraged to denounce fuel stations charging over the odds (see below for email address for special form).

Explain reports, the situation is unlikely to be fully-controlled before the end of the month.

This is because the government doesn’t yet have a legal mechanism allowing it to set ‘maximum margins for commercialisation’.

That mechanism is in the pipeline, however. Law 69-A/2021 will come into effect at the end of May.

In the meantime, it is really a question of ‘choose your pumps’ carefully.

NB. The address to email is https://www.asae.gov.pt/denuncias1.aspx. A form will appear, which people can then fill out and submit.

Difference between Government’s promise and prices charged

The difference between the government’s promise and prices charged varies across the board, but rounds out at around 40% less.

PM Costa tweeted on Monday morning: “The reduction in ISP to a value equivalent to a reduction in IVA of 13% translates today into a discount of 15.5 cents for petrol, and 14.2 cents for diesel”.

Correio da Manhã tabloid set to work verifying these values, finding GALP had reduced its cheapest petrol (95) by 11.5 cents, and diesel by 10.2 cents; BP brought down petrol by 10 cents; diesel by 12 cents; Repsol reduced petrol by 11 cents; diesel by 10.

In other words, no major brand offered reductions promised by the government.

With ASAE now charged with taking greedy fuel companies to task, CM suggests they could be liable to criminal charges of speculation.

GALP declares first quarter profits of €155 million

Albeit not the best day to declare bumper profits, a communiqué from the Markets Securities Commission (CMVM) shows GALP Energia registered €155 million in liquid profit for the first quarter of 2022, compared with €26 million for the same period last year.

That said the company completed the first quarter of the year with a liquid debt of €2.39 billion compared to debt of €1.55 billion for the same period in 2021.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com