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POLAND: New Fuel Tax

The parliament has voted through a bill introducing a new so-called emission fee. The Sejm agreed to add a PLN 80 charge for each thousand litres of fuel. 85% of these profits are meant to go to the National Environment Protection Fund, with 15% going to the Low-Emission Transport Fund. The funds are meant to be primarily used to combat smog – in cities like Warsaw, 60% of the air pollution comes from cars. According to the Ministry of Energy, the new charge will provide PLN 1.7 billion into the state treasury. The state-owned refiners Orlen and Lotos have already argued that they would bear the new cost burden, without increasing prices for end consumers. This, however, is not likely as experts points out. Fuel prices in Poland haver already reached their highest level in many years due to global trends. Opposition MPs are arguing that PiS promised not to increase fuel taxes in its election campaign. Previously, in July 2017, PiS backed out from a similar new tax on fuel after protests within the party. The emission fee introduced by the new bill is likely to be one of the arguments of the opposition in the upcoming election campaigns.