Conservatives in the European Parliament delivered a setback for European Commission plans to erase tax benefits for diesel fuel, saying that a period of austerity and high fuel costs is not the time for such moves.
MEPS voted 374-217, with 73 abstentions, for an overhaul of the EU executive’s year-old draft energy taxation directive that would require members states to end their practice of taxing diesel fuel at lower rates than gasoline.
The Parliament’s recommendations are non-binding. But they lay the groundwork for anticipated changes in the Council of Ministers, where Poland has already blocked moves to impose stronger emission-reductions obligations, and at a time when high fuel prices may tame the political appetite for higher taxes. The MEP’s decision was seen as a win for consumers and the centre-right that led the fight.
The average petrol price has risen to a new high of 142.48p per litre after a brief halt to weeks of rises, motoring association the AA says. The average price of diesel, at 147.88p a litre, is just short of the record price set a week ago and petrol prices have risen by 10.23p a litre and diesel by 7.32p a litre, since the beginning of this year.