Government stands firm over bridge tolls

THE GOVERNMENT looks set to refuse raising IVA (VAT) on tolls to Lisbon bridges to 21 per cent, despite pressure from the European Union.

Brussels wants IVA charged on tolls at the city’s Vasco da Gama and 25 de Abril bridges to be raised from five per cent to 21 per cent. An official source within the Ministry of Finances said last week that not including the bridges in the list of services eligible for higher IVA rates does not necessarily mean the price of tolls are to rise. The same source guaranteed that there would be no change in the price of tolls for the foreseeable future.

A case, aimed at forcing the Portuguese government to increase IVA on bridge tolls, is currently being heard by the European Court of Justice. The company that runs the bridges want IVA to be increased or the price of tolls to be raised in line with current costs.