The Minister of Economy, Siza Vieira, today rejected the possibility of lowering taxes on fossil fuels, to mitigate the rise in prices, arguing that fiscal stability gives economic agents predictability for the inevitable transition to more sustainable energies.
“As much as it costs us, fossil fuels will increase the price in the coming years”, said the official, at a meeting within the scope of the cycle of conferences Retomar Portugal, TSF and JN, today dedicated to the theme of exports, which was attended by representatives from industry, banks and companies.
Siza Vieira insisted that should not change fiscal stability, who said that there have been no changes since 2016, nor has the price rise been avoided, but that the country’s “effort” should be to reduce energy dependence from abroad, avoiding the purchase of fossil fuels and indebtedness to abroad, and that of “increase and make more competitive, comparatively, the costs of renewable energies and endogenization” of the national energy bill.
Fuel prices rise again this week – an average increase of 3.5 cents per liter in the case of diesel and 2.5 cents in gasoline – due to the rise in oil prices on international markets and the depreciation of the euro against the dollar.
Brent crude for December delivery opened higher on London’s Intercontinental Exchange Futures (ICE), quoted at $83.80, a maximum since October 2018.
“Even if we wanted to reduce the fiscal costs that fall on fossil fuels at the margins, we can’t be wrong. They will continue to raise the price in the coming years and this will affect the entire world economy”, admitted Siza Vieira, noting that countries that are less dependent on fossil fuels, and that are able to change their energy mix, to use more renewable energies, will be better prepared in the long term to face this challenge.
Last Friday, the Assembly of the Republic approved the final text of the Government’s proposed law that allows set maximum marketing margins for simple fuels and bottled LPG.
It is necessary to maintain “some” predictability of the fiscal framework to allow entrepreneurs to make decisions, defended the minister, giving as an example investments in the renewal of the automobile fleet, betting on electricity, whose change in the fiscal framework would be “giving misleading signals” to economic agents and “impairing” the way in which they can make predictions in the long term.
“We could change, in some way, the margins of what the fuel tax burdens are. But two weeks from now, we were probably going to see a new increase in the price of oil, a new increase in the price of CO2, which would make things more expensive again. we have to realize that this is a forward movementAnyway, so we all have to prepare to deal with. It is difficult to face this, but it is practically inevitable”, he concluded.
The minister also made forecasts on the country’s economic performance at the end of the year, predicting that the economy “will be at a time of growth”, and highlighting the Government’s support for the decarbonization of companies, so that they can prepare themselves for a more decarbonized future, through Portugal 2020 and the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR).