New fuel charge planned for Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
A government-backed bill to introduce a new fuel charge in order to fund road building and maintenance has passed its first hurdle in the Polish parliament.
Photo: Activ-Michoko/Pixabay.com (CC0)
A so-called “road charge” of PLN 0.2 per litre of petrol and diesel would be paid by fuel producers and importers if the bill to create a Local Roads Fund enters into law.
But Bogdan Rzońca, an MP from the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, said there would not be a visible price hike at the petrol pump.
He said that the government’s crackdown on corruption and crime in the fuel sector has seen domestic petrol companies thrive, “so the road charge does not have to mean increased fuel prices”.
However, Poland’s main opposition party, Civic Platform (PO), has said the bill would increase prices at the pump, which would, in turn, push up the cost of transport and thus all other goods.
Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, the leader of the opposition Polish People’s Party, criticised the bill saying the government was looking to make extra money to “fund new jobs… severances, multimillion [złoty] bonuses” for heads of companies.
But Rzońca said the road charge “will support the road fund and not public administration, not the 500+ programme [of family aid], not housing”.
“All resources from the fund will go exclusively to roads,” he added.
Kosiniak-Kamysz said “drivers, entrepreneurs and families” would bear the brunt of a fuel price hike.
Ryszard Petru, head of the opposition Nowoczesna (Modern) party, said PiS was breaking its promises not to raise taxes. (vb/pk)