The Pan-Cyprian Consumer and Quality of Life Union criticizes the government’s new support package, viewing it as a temporary solution rather than a comprehensive one. The Union raises concerns about the temporary subsidies offered, the lack of mention of gas, the inadequacy of the Photovoltaics for All Plan, and the government’s approach to tackling energy poverty. While the Union welcomes the zero VAT rate on meat and vegetables, it questions the potential effectiveness of this measure. Overall, the Union emphasizes the need for more sustainable and effective solutions to address the country’s energy and consumer issues.
What is the Pan-Cyprian Consumer and Quality of Life Union’s view of the government’s new support package?
The Pan-Cyprian Consumer and Quality of Life Union views the government’s new support package as a temporary, patchy solution rather than a long-term, comprehensive one. The Union’s criticisms include the temporary nature of the subsidies, the lack of mention of gas, the inadequacy of the Photovoltaics for All Plan, and the government’s approach to tackling energy poverty. Despite welcoming the zero VAT rate on meat and vegetables, the Union questions the potential effectiveness of this measure.
In a recent statement, the Pan-Cyprian Consumer and Quality of Life Union has characterized the support package announced by the government as a temporary, patchy solution rather than a permanent, holistic answer to their problems. Drawing upon the saying, “the mountain labored and gave birth to a mouse,” the Union’s commentary implies that the effort has been substantial, but the result, disappointingly small.
It points out that many of the solutions offered by the package take the form of temporary subsidies, which may end up being ineffective or even become a “free gift” in the long run.
One of the primary concerns raised by the Union revolves around the subsidy of electricity costs, citing that it seems to have been decided upon considering imminent increases. Specifically, the Union mentions the requested 25% increase by EAC that has been rejected by CERA, predicting that it’s likely to be approved by court in the future.
Heating Oil Tax Reduction
Another point of contention is the reduction of the special consumption tax on heating oil. The Union questions its efficacy, considering that residents in mountainous regions would need to activate heating systems from November, and wonders whether a further month’s delay would actually make any significant difference.
Notably, the Union also flags the lack of mention of gas as a serious omission, given its wide usage for heating purposes.
Photovoltaics for All Plan
The announced Photovoltaics for All Plan has also come under scrutiny. The Union points out that the allotted €30 million would only suffice for 5,000 to 6,000 households. Given that the installation cost for a 4.16KW system is about €5,000 to €6,000, the state’s €1,000 grant, which would be recouped via VAT, is seen as inadequate. The Union deems the reduction of the state grant from the previously provided €1,500 under other programs as a mistake.
Energy Poverty Problem
With these plans in place, the Union questions the government’s policy to tackle the grave problem of Energy Poverty, which affects 8 out of 10 citizens of Cyprus. The troubling reality is that Cyprus ranks fourth in the most unfavorable position in Europe, a stark contrast to Malta’s modest 10th position, despite Malta’s much smaller size.
Zero VAT on Meat and Vegetables
The Union welcomes the inclusion of meat and vegetables in the zero VAT rate category, but expresses uncertainty about its potential effectiveness.
The statement further notes that the Consumer Protection Service has not been, nor will it ever be, adequately equipped to conduct controls to counter profiteering.
In conclusion, the Union brings forth its hope for the approval of the “e-basket,” which it believes will result in consumers gaining transparency and information, thereby enabling them to exercise their right to choice and play their role in the market with more efficiency.
Overall, the Union’s commentary highlights various concerns about the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of the new government measures, indicating that they are far from holistic solutions.
The Pan-Cyprian Consumer and Quality of Life Union does not think that the government’s new support package is a good solution for the country’s problems. They think it is only a temporary fix and not a long-term solution. They have several concerns, including the temporary subsidies offered, the lack of mention of gas, and the inadequacy of the plan to provide solar panels for everyone. They also question how effective the zero VAT rate on meat and vegetables will be. The Union wants more sustainable and effective solutions to be implemented.