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Minister urges abolition of electricity tax

Published on 17/08/2005

17 August 2005

BRUSSELS — Flemish Energy Minister Kris Peeters has proposed using the proceeds of the sale of Belgian energy firm Electrabel to French company Suez to abolish a new electricity tax.

The ‘Elia tax’ is paid by both businesses and the public and has been in force in Flanders since 1 July. Electricity users have to pay EUR 4.91 per megawatt hour of used electricity.

However, BTW tax (or VAT in English) is also paid on top of that, so electricity bills can quickly rise by EUR 20 to 35 for an average family. The tax is also a hefty payment for businesses.

The federal government imposed-tax has only been introduced in Flanders and was designed to supplement the expected loss of income due to the liberalisation of the energy market.

However, Peeters used that argument on Wednesday to place the validity of the tax back on the political agenda.

The looming sale of Electrabel to Suez offers municipalities — which still own 5 percent of Electrabel — a good revenue-earning opportunity.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news