The Committee on Finance of the National Assembly has rejected a proposal by the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) to extend the reduction in the value-added tax on certain energy products. The nine-month period during which VAT on the supply of electricity, natural gas, firewood and district heating was reduced to 9.5 percent, ended on the 31st of May. The VAT for these services otherwise stands at 22 percent. As the proposal has fallen on deaf ears with the authorities, energy bills will now be about 11 percent more expensive.
“Our intention was very basic – to help citizens be prepared for the next heating season, to know what awaits them, at least tentatively, as far as pricing policy is concerned,” an SDS party MP Rado Gladek commented on the rejection of the extension of the VAT reduction.
The measure was introduced during the heating season by a law adopted last August. The government decided not to extend the law because the situation on the energy markets has calmed down, and Slovenia is outside the heating season. Monika Pekošak, an MP from the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) commented: “It’s all well and good to be concerned about people, but it’s summer now!”
However, the SDS party believes that the opposite is, in fact, true. They believe that the government’s decision shows that the current authorities do not understand the needs of citizens and the economy, as, for example, wood for heating is not bought in autumn or winter, but in summer. “Stocks of firewood are already supplied in the summer months, and the prices of electricity, which is also used for cooling; of natural gas and district heating, among other things, are now significantly too high,” commented MP Gladek.