Diesel fuel price hits new high

Motorists’ unions are infuriated as petrol prices continue to soar.Car club Arbö said today (Thurs) one litre of diesel fuel cost an average 1.138 Euros in Austria as of this morning.”This is the highest price in two years,” the body pointed out, adding that a further rise was expected for next year when mineral oil tax rates will increase.Drivers are however bracing themselves for another price hike ahead of the Christmas holiday period since the same development was observed ahead of the most recent Easter and Whitsun breaks.Traffic Club Austria (VCÖ) stressed recently that car fuel prices in Austria were still lower than rates in most other European countries as the debate over the possible positive and negative effects of a tax increase intensifies.Arbö and ÖAMTC, Austria’s other leading motorists’ unions, have appealed to the government not to raise petrol tax levels.The organisations claimed people who are forced to go to work by car because of poor public transport service would have to bear the brunt. They also claimed that a tax increase would wipe out the so-called fuel tourism. This term describes the thousands of Germans, Czechs and Italians who cross the border to fuel their vehicles in Austria.Arbö and ÖAMTC concluded that higher petrol taxes would therefore not lead to extra takings as Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the People’s Party (ÖVP) are trying to find ways to reduce the budget deficit currently ranging around 4.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).The coalition eventually decided to increase the tax on diesel fuel by five Eurocents and the tax on regular car petrol by five Eurocents from next year. Diesel petrol is currently taxed with 44.2 Eurocents, while one litre of regular car fuel is burdened with 34.7 Eurocents.