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Spain ends fuel discount for almost all drivers

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
Spain ends fuel discount for almost all drivers
Spanish petrol station owners are expecting a spike in drivers wanting to fill up their tanks in the days before the January 1st discount deadline. (Photo by Jorge Guerrero / AFP)

The Spanish government on Tuesday announced that it will no longer offer drivers its state subsidy of 20 euro cents for every litre of fuel in 2023, with only a few exceptions.

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On Sunday January 1st 2023, almost all of Spain’s 27 million drivers will no longer have access to the 20-cents-on-the-litre subsidy on petrol, diesel and other types of fuel.

This comes after the Spanish Cabinet decided to finalise its offer to the country’s population on Tuesday December 27th, as part of changes to its new ‘anti-crisis’ package which includes rent caps, VAT cuts on food and an extension to free public transport.

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The cost-cutting measure was first introduced last April when war in Ukraine pushed the price of all types of commodities in Spain to record highs, including fuel.

Back then, a litre of petrol cost €1.818 and a litre of diesel €1.837, prices which have fluctuated throughout 2022 but now currently stand at €1.590 and €1.661 respectively.

The measure was only initially expected to last for two months, but Pedro Sánchez’s government decided to extend it throughout 2022 as Spain’s cost-of-living crisis continued.

It cost Spain's public coffers an estimated €1.4 billion to offer these subsidies to the Spanish public.

The only drivers that can continue claiming the fuel discount in Spain in 2023 are transport workers such as truck drivers, as well as those in the agricultural, fishing and livestock sectors.

Petrol station owners are generally unsatisfied with the government’s decision, stressing that fuel prices remain high for drivers and that the decision will lead to a drop in fuel consumption.

They are expecting a spike in drivers wanting to fill up their tanks in the days before the January 1st discount deadline, at a time when they are short-staffed due to the Christmas holidays.

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