Parliament rejects calls to halve Swiss petrol tax

Petrol prices are forecast to rise sharply as the Ukraine war drags on. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

A proposal to halve taxes on petrol, diesel and heating oil to cushion the effects of rising commodity prices has been rejected by parliament.

This content was published on June 16, 2022 - 19:39

On Thursday, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting down the motion from the People’s Party.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced up the price of oil and gas. Switzerland recently joined other European countries in declaring an embargo on crude oil importsExternal link and certain refined petroleum products from Russia.

The Federal Electricity Commission has warned that bills will rise by nearly 50%External link for Swiss energy consumers next year.

This prompted the People’s Party to submit a parliamentary motion to halve taxes on oil products, which has now failed.

In April, the government set up a working group to examine whether measures are neededExternal link to cushion low income households against the expected price hikes.

But a month later, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer came out against government supportExternal link, saying the state did not have enough resources to bail out the population.

“Such measures are not necessary with inflation at 2.5%,” he told the Tages Anzeiger newspaper. “Petrol prices are affordable in wealthy Switzerland.”

In a separate debate, the Senate backed government plans to set aside CHF10 billion ($10 billion) as emergency financing for energy suppliers. The House of Representatives has yet to debate the proposal.

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