Bus companies in the Association of Public Line Transporters (UHAJLP) on Friday reacted to the fuel price hike announced for Tuesday, underscoring that the measures the government has announced will not help them and calling for a "diesel clause" and lower VAT on bus tickets.
According to media reports, the price of diesel, which they depend on, could jump by HRK 0.90 per litre. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that the government would intervene in excise taxes and margins if necessary.
Given that transporters have the right to a refund of a portion of excise taxes, the only effect of these measures is that transporters will be left without that refund and their business will not be relieved in any way, the UHAJLP said in a press release.
Freight transporters can compensate for the price hike by increasing their prices, however, public bus companies cannot increase the price of tickets that much.
According to EU directives, bus passenger tickets are the same for all passengers and agreements with governments have a so-called diesel clause which compensates for changes to fuel prices.
UHAJLP president Hrvoje Mestrovic underscored that bus companies have appealed to the government for years to comply with European directives and to sign an agreement on public services which would facilitate lower prices for passengers.
Mestrovic further underscored that Croatia has the highest VAT on bus tickets among comparable EU countries and that measures to facilitate citizens’ mobility should include a VAT decrease.