person putting fuel in car
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Fuel prices increase again; president promises action

It is one of the largest fuel price hikes in recent weeks

Portugal woke up today to another increase in fuel prices, with diesel costing six cents more per litre and gasoline costing 0.5 cents more per litre.

It is one of the largest fuel price hikes in recent weeks, and the National Association of Fuel Retailers argues that the government must lower taxes immediately.

Fuel prices are rising due to the cost of oil and the associated costs of refined products, but it is the weight of the taxes charged by the State which the association is contesting.

“The 6 cents increase means that 1 cent is for VAT. If that cent were removed from the carbon tax and the ISP (Tax on Petroleum Products), it would significantly reduce the fuel price. It would come much closer to the prices in Spain, about 15/20 cents lower,” argues association president Mafalda Trigo.

On the other hand, the Minister of Finance has stated that the government has suspended the update of the carbon tax and has maintained the discount on the tax on petroleum products. Fernando Medina guarantees that the new fuel price increase is not the result of government action.

In Portugal on September 11, the average price per litre of diesel was €1.75, slightly more expensive than in Ireland, Hungary, or Spain but below the prices in Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, France, Italy, or Denmark. In terms of gasoline, the average price in Portugal was €1.86, more expensive than in Sweden, Ireland, and Spain but cheaper than in Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Denmark, or the Netherlands.

Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has expressed his conviction that the government “is aware” of the impact of the rise in fuel prices and “is preparing measures or at least ways to mitigate the situation.”

Marcelo was speaking to journalists on Sunday during a walking tour of Toronto’s Portuguese neighbourhood, known as Little Portugal, on the last day of his official visit to Canada.

Asked if he was aware of any measures that the government led by António Costa was preparing to deal with the looming increase in diesel and petrol prices, the head of state said that “as in other areas, the government is aware of this problem.”

According to the president, the government “is certainly preparing measures or at least ways to mitigate the situation because it is a situation that is weighing heavily on inflation in Portugal and in other European countries.

I mean, our [inflation] is still relatively low, but within our inflation, there’s no doubt that fuels, as in Europe and the world, are once again weighing heavily,” he stressed.

By Michael Bruxo

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