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Vince Farrugia, Director General GRTU, Tuesday, made a strong appeal to Mr. Zoltán Kazatsay, EU Commission, Deputy Director General, Energy and Transport to seek a solution to the problem caused by the high cost of diesel.
The increase in the price of diesel has had a 15% rise in the cost of distribution and transport to the retail trade sector across the whole of the EU with the result that traders, wholesalers and retailers had to put up prices to meet the extra cost. The increase in distribution costs is in addition to the increase in prices for food and other daily consumption items and it adds to the increasing inflationary pressures suffered by the EU member states.
In the meantime governments of all EU Member States continue to impose taxes, excise duty, and VAT on top of these taxes, that pushes the price of diesel to the distributive and Transport trade by up to 50% of what the price per litre could be without the taxation burden. The Commission imposes a minimum excise tax and member states are forced to top up the already high price for every litre of diesel with this additional tax burden. The high increase in the price of diesel is therefore also a EU imposed one. The level of taxation imposed by Member States governments varies. Malta stands at a 19th position with 8 Member states carrying a lesser Tax burden while 18 countries carry a higher Tax burden per litre of fuel. This taxation element is reflected in the 15% increase in the higher costs of the distributive trades and represents an additional burden that the Commercial Sector has to suffer or impose on retailers and onwards on the consumers. "The COMMISSION should immediately, and substantially, lower this minimum taxation level to mitigate for the sharp rise in the price of diesel and direct Member States to reduce additional taxation and the double sufferance of Vat on fuel taxation". Recommended GRTU's Director General.
"It is right for the EU Commission to strive to take measures to ensure more energy saving, less CO2 emissions, seek alternative energy provisions and achieve greater use of public Transport and to fight inflation, but action is stronger than words. The reduction of taxation per litre of fuel used in transportation and distribution is direct action that is within the control of the COMMISSION and Member State governments. Consumers everywhere expect prices to come down but they will not unless direct action is taken to reduce the burdens imposed on the distributive and retail trade" concluded Vince Farrugia.
He was addressing the Annual Conference of EuroCommerce in Brussels Tuesday 10th June 2008 after Mr. Zoltàn Kazatsay addressed the Conference on the Program of the EU COMMISSION to reform the transportation and logistics sector in Europe to meet the new energy saving and efficiency criteria to meet the targets for 2020.
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