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Fuel prices set to be REDUCED

The Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez announced details of the government’s economic measures to alleviate some of the financial consequences of the war in Ukraine this Monday morning, and these are due to be approved on Tuesday, 29 March.

This five-point plan, he said, will last “approximately” unil 30 June and will cost the government six billion euros in direct assistance and tax reductions, plus a further ten billion euros in loans to alleviate the impact of the crisis.

These are some of the details:

  • In order to help families and workers, all drivers will benefit from a 20 céntimo reduction in fuel prices which will be applied directly at the filling stations. The government will pay 15 céntimos of this, and the oil companies the other five.

  • There will be measures to protect employment, and companies can also apply internal flexibility measures such as furloughs.

  • Rent reviews during the next three months will be limited to two per cent.

  • The amount of the minimum living income will rise by 15 per cent for three months.

  • A further 600,000 families will be eligible for the electricity discount scheme, bringing the total to 1.9 million homes.

  • The tax reduction on energy bills will be continued until 30 June: IVA at 10% for small consumers, special electricity tax at 0.5% and the electricity generation tax remains suspended.

Support for businesses

There will be a new line of ICO credit guarantees for 10 billion euros to cover liquidity needs caused by the temporary rise in energy and fuel costs.

The maturity period of loans backed by the ICO and the period of grace for the worst-affected sectors are to be extended.

Assistance packages totalling 362 million euros for agriculture and farming, and 68 million for the fishing sector.

500 million euros for energy-intensive industries to compensate for tariffs and provide additional assistance for the sector

There will be financial help and additional measures for the industrial sector, exporters and culture.

Help for the transport sector

An injection of over 1 billion euros.

The sector will benefit from the reduction of 20 céntimos per litre or kilo of fuel.

A new 450 million euro fund for direct assistance to hauliers and passenger transport, depending on the type of vehicle: 1,250 euros per lorry, 900 per bus, 500 per van and 300 for taxis, minicabs and ambulances.

The hydrocarbon tax will be refunded in one month instead of three.

The government has committed to approve a law which will enable hauliers to work at a fair price, as it has done with farmers and growers with the Food Chain Law.

Cybersecurity measures

A new National Cybersecurity Plan will come into force with more than 150 essential actions, funded with 1.02 billion euros.

There will be a Cybersecurity Operations Centre for the State and its public bodies.

Security in the new 5G electronic communications networks will be enhanced.

Measures to offset electricity prices

This week, Spain and Portugal will submit an exceptional and temporary measure to the European Commission, setting a reference price for gas used to produce electricity.

The specific tariff for producing electricity from renewable energy sources, co-generation and residues will be updated to include a reduction of charges amounting to 1.8 billion euros.

The mechanism to reduce excess profits in the electricity market from the high price of natural gas on international markets will be extended to 30 June, with some modifications to increase effectiveness and adapt it to EU directives.

Additional regulatory measures will be approved to promote and accelerate the use of renewable energies and energy savings and guarantee the energy supply.

Reproduced from THE SUR IN ENGLISH

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