By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]
The New Year brings with it a moderate rise in the price of several essential goods and services across Portugal.
However, many are to remain fixed, while national telephone company Portugal Telecom has announced a price reduction for local and national fixed calls.
Electricity bills are to rise by 2.9 per cent this year for customers on Portugal’s mainland, while residents in the Azores and Madeira Islands will see an increase of 2.1 per cent.
Gas prices are due to remain stable at the start of this year but the application of a new tax on companies for the land usage of gas transporting infrastructures could increase gas bills.
Any changes in water prices are due to be announced later in the New Year as these are fixed by individual câmaras across the country.
The price of tobacco in Portugal is to increase this year, with the most popularly bought brands such as Marlboro, SG and Águia costing up to 10 cents more per packet.
Telecommunications company Sonaecom has announced that no general increase is planned for the prices of mobile telephone, television and internet.
Portugal Telecom (PT) has said that the cost of fixed telecommunications will decrease by 2.75 per cent for residential telephone service packages from January 1.
Meanwhile, the government has announced that the cost of public transport such as trains and buses as well as taxis will not increase in the New Year.
Taxi fares increased in July 2008 by 5.5 per cent charged per hour and kilometre and the national associations agreed with the government to maintain the current prices for 2010.
Road tolls are also due to remain stable this year, except for two stretches of motorway, the first being the A12, linking Montijo and Setúbal, which will increase by between five and 15 cents depending on the class of vehicle.
The second is the two kilometre stretch of Palmela-Nó de Setúbal along the A2/A12, which will have a charge of between five and 20 cents.
The price of bread is due to remain unaltered this year according to Aipan, the national association of bread producers, and ACIP, the national association for bread and cake producers, which represents the majority of companies in the sector.
António Fontes, president of Aipan, said that the economic crisis has caused a decrease in sales in the industry of 30 per cent in the last two years, which is a reason not to increase the price.
Alberto Santos, president of ACIP, said that prices are stable, with the price of a bread roll (known as carcaça or papo-seco) costing between nine and 17 cents, depending on the region.
The price of national wine is also expected to remain the same this year, as according to wine producers in Portugal, the prices of glass and cork are not going up. The sector is also expecting an increase in exportations and consumption of national wine this year.
The price of milk, however, could increase, according to Fenalac, the national federation of milk production cooperatives, which represents around 75 per cent of producers in the sector.
The average price of milk increased by two cents in the last two months of 2009, according to Fenalac, and should stabilise.
Meanwhile, according to the national postal service, no price revisions are expected for 2010.
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