AK boss warns government of upping car fuel tax

Labour Chamber (AK) chief Herbert Tumpel has appealed to the government not to raise taxes on car fuel.”Higher petrol taxes are out of the question,” Tumpel said today (Weds).The AK boss further argued: “An increase of taxes on car fuel would burden those with little income and workers who need to use their cars to drive to work even worse.”The coalition – formed by the Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) – is currently negotiating ways to reduce the state debt. In contrast to promises given a few months ago, SPÖ Chancellor Werner Faymann and ÖVP Vice Chancellor Josef Pröll recently explained higher and new taxes could not be ruled out.Pröll claimed the government was forced to react to domestic and international developments.Motorist associations like ÖAMTC and Arbö have appealed to SPÖ Traffic Minister Doris Bures not to raise car fuel taxes. They claimed such a decision would stop the flourishing “fuel tourism”. This term describes the thousands of Germans, Czechs, Swiss and Italians crossing the border to Austria every year to fuel their cars since Austria has significantly lower petrol prices than most European countries.Bures has remained tight-lipped over whether she intends to increase car fuel taxes.An OGM study showed recently that 90 per cent of Austrians think mineral oil industry firms are engaged in price fixing as prices soared dramatically just before Easter and Whitsun.Insurance company Generali meanwhile found that just 10 per cent of Austrian drivers could imagine life without a car.The company’s survey also showed that 64 per cent of Austrians said they had used their cars everyday last year, up year on year by six per cent.