Fabian Demicoli

A diesel too much

 The reason why the price of diesel is so high is not simply because the world price for oil keeps rising. The price per litre is beyond the pocket of most; primarily due to government taxes imposed on every litre of diesel. Diesel in Malta is taxed at €0.34c per litre.

To make matters worse, over and above the TAX there is also the 18% VAT.  This simply means that for every litre of diesel our members put in the tank to enable them to distribute, deliver or transport goods or people, 50% of what they pay goes to Government as TAX, and then this burden is blamed all on the sheiks.

GRTU's Director General, Vince Farrugia raised this issue at MCESD and requested the Minister of Finance to do what other Ministers of Finance in most EU countries are doing to support their Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)- reduce the tax on diesel.

Diesel is the fuel that is most commonly used amongst SMEs and it is the cost that is increasingly being loaded on to many consumable's prices that consumers buy on a regular basis.

Inflation on the harmonised index of consumer prices is 4.3%, not the highest in Europe they tell us, but it's a historical high for Malta and far above what is expected of us now that we are in the Eurozone.

Government, argued Vince Farrugia at MCESD, cannot continue to increase its revenue every time the sheiks put the price up as most small business owners simply cannot take it anymore… GRTU's message at MCESD was loud and clear: reduce the tax on diesel and give small businesses and consumers a break.

"It's high time something is done to control inflation, there is absolutely no evidence that inflation is caused at the retail level as NSO figures show that retailers operating surpluses are going down not up while imported inflation continues to rise. This signifies that traders and retailers are absorbing quite a chunk of the inflation thrown at us from abroad. Something needs to be done at the local level. Reducing the TAX on diesel to mitigate for price increases from overseas is a very good point from where to start" concluded Vince Farrugia.

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