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12° Nicosia,
25 April, 2024
 
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Government support package under fire for short-term fixes

Calls for transparency and choice in consumer market

Newsroom / CNA

The government's package of support measures has been criticized by the Pancyprian Association of Consumers and Quality of Life, which claims these solutions are only temporary and patchwork. They cite the saying "odinen oros kai eteken myn" to emphasize the lack of permanent, holistic, and sustainable solutions.

In a statement, the association highlights that many of these measures are essentially clever subsidies that may ultimately prove ineffective or merely free gifts.

Regarding the subsidy for electricity costs, the association questions its effectiveness, especially considering the expected increases and the 25% increase requested by the aik, which was refused by the raek. They anticipate that court approval for this increase is likely.

Concerning the reduction in excise duty on heating oil, the association raises the issue of timing. They wonder if another month of reduced prices will genuinely benefit residents in mountainous areas who have been relying on heaters since November.

The absence of any reference to LPG, also used for heating, is considered a significant omission.

Regarding the photovoltaic project for all, the association notes that the allocated 30 million euros are insufficient for only 5 to 6 thousand households, given the installation cost of approximately 5 to 6 thousand euros for a 4.16kw system. They criticize the state's subsidy of 1,000 euros, which is subject to VAT, and view the reduction of the state's subsidy from 1,500 euros in other programs as a mistake.

The association questions the government's policy to combat energy poverty, which affects 8 out of 10 Cypriots. They point out that Cyprus ranks 4th in Europe for energy poverty, while the smaller Malta is in 10th place.

On a positive note, they welcome the inclusion of meat and vegetables in the zero VAT rate, although they express uncertainty about its effectiveness.

The Consumer Protection Agency is criticized for its inability to effectively combat obscenity.

In conclusion, the association hopes for the adoption of the e-cart, which would provide transparency and information to consumers, enabling them to make more informed choices in the market.

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Cyprus  |  consumer  |  economy  |  price

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