Electricity tariffs 8 pc up due to new Flemish tax

Electricity tariffs 8 pc up due to new Flemish tax

20th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Electricity prices for an average Flemish family are to go up 8 percent on 1 January due to a new tax to be introduced on electricity.

The price hike will occur because the Flemish government is introducing a new tax rate on electricity in order to generate extra cash.

This money will be used to diminish a huge debt created in the past due to the generous subsidies for solar panels.

The Flemish Energy Minister Annemie Turtelboom (liberal) told the VRT that "the price will not go up too much for an average Flemish family, due to the fact that energy prices are at a historic low at present. The price will be at the same level as 1.5 years ago."

The problem started in the past, when people installing solar panels could claim generous subsidies by the Flemish government (running for several years). This was between 2008 and 2014, and it was such a huge success that the Flemish government was left with a gap of about 2 billion.

This debt has to be reduced slowly but surely, explains Turtelboom, hence the extra tax. "We are taking up our responsibility for something that went wrong in the past. The aim is to have the gap closed in 5 years' time." Critics say that people without solar panels on their roof now have to foot the bill for others enjoying subsidies.

In the meantime, subsidies and grants for solar panels have been reduced strongly or even scrapped. The latest price hike does not take into account a possible change in the federal VAT rate. This was reduced from 21 to 6 per cent by the previous Di Rupo government, but there are talks to have it put back at 21 per cent.

 

Flandersnews.be / Expatica

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