Social Democrats call for lower VAT on fuels

The Social Democratic Party has suggested lowering the value-added tax on fuels after the cost of petrol and diesel fuel reached record highs this week. A survey showed the popular Natural 95 being sold for over 40 crowns per litre at stations around the country. The party’s shadow industry minister Milan Urban said soaring fuel prices would reduce the competitiveness of Czech firms and severely burden family budgets. Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has rejected the proposal, saying it is nonsensical to artificially reduce fuel prices. He moreover pointed out that EU member states were bound by a 2005 agreement not to take such measures.