Transport asks not to pay taxes while the Ukraine crisis lasts

The transport sector is one of the most affected by the rise in prices since the war broke out. / C7

The price of fuel, which accounts for 50% of spending in the sector, has increased by an average of 0.75 cents per liter on the islands since January

B. Hernandez

B. HERNANDEZ The Gran Canarian palms

The war in Ukraine is affecting the economy of the islands and one of the sectors that is being affected the most is transport, especially due to
increase in the price of fuel, which represents 50% of your spending.

To alleviate the consequences of this situation, which is already taking its toll on them, businessmen consider that there is an important tool that can come to their aid, which is taxation. In this sense, the Federation of Transport Businessmen of the Canary Islands
(FET) calls on the regional Executive to exempt them from paying fuel taxes until the end of the war crisis. To this end, the general secretary of the sector's employers' association, José Ángel Hernández, indicated yesterday that they will request a meeting with the regional president, Ángel Víctor Torres, the Minister of Transport, Sebastián Franquis, and the Minister of Economy, Elena Máñez, to raise your situation and discuss possible solutions.

  • skyrocketing prices
    The liter of diesel cost 0.80 euros in January. Now its price, depending on the islands, ranges between 1.25 and 1.50.

  • repercussions
    The rise in fuel has repercussions on freight transport, passenger transport and tourism.

  • job
    Its effects are not yet seen, "it may be a line that we had not contemplated even in the worst forecasts."

Hernández points out that it rains on wet because
between January 2021 and January 2022, diesel increased by 32%. Now, after the Russian invasion, prices have skyrocketed and currently range between 1.25 euros per liter and 1.50 euros depending on the island, when in January it was 0.80 cents per liter, that is to say that
the average increase in the autonomous community has been 57 cents. In addition, he says, "we are approaching the psychological figure of two euros per liter, a price that was already reached on Thursday on the peninsula, and had never happened before." This week, he details, the islands have experienced a rise of 10 cents "from one day to the next."

This also entails "substantial" problems in the chain, since the transport companies had been facing a policy of renegotiating contracts with the main clients prior to the conflict in Ukraine "and now they have to be renegotiated again with rising prices", indicates the leader of the employer's association of the sector.

At the moment,
the most important repercussion is falling on the transport of goods, since it has a “multiplier” effect, as José Ángel Hernández explains, since "if the price of transport goes up, so do all the merchandise of commerce, industry, construction, import, etc." He adds that passenger transport and the tourism sector are also being "strongly" affected, which is also being forced to raise prices. "It is a delicate moment, because they are trying to resume the pulse of tourist activity and the least favorable thing is to do it with rising prices," he says.

Another concern of transport employers is that this situation may affect employment, says the secretary general of the Canary Islands Transport Federation. Above all, he indicates, the alarm lights are going on in La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro where, historically, the price of fuel is 20 cents higher because there is only one operator and therefore there is no competition and, furthermore, logistically it is complicated to supply them.

He points out in this regard that in some cases, local clients do not have the capacity to assume the rise in the price of transport "and they are canceling contracts, and it calls into question the viability of jobs." Although at the moment and in absolute figures they are small numbers, "problems are being seen that could be the beginning of a line that we had not contemplated even in the worst forecasts."

The worst thing for transport businessmen, points out José Ángel Hernández, is that
"It is still unknown where the ceiling is on this climb."

At the moment there will be no mobilizations

Entrepreneurs in the transport sector will give you
an opportunity to negotiate with the central government before adopting pressure measures or reaching the mobilization in the street.

Thus, the general secretary of the Federation of Transport Businessmen of the Canary Islands, José Ángel Hernández, points out that the National Committee for Road Transport -in which the Ministry of Transport and the Transport confederations throughout Spain are represented- agreed not to convene any demonstrations without first initiating a negotiation phase, while it has distanced itself from the call made "via social networks by a minority organization".

This Thursday
A request for a meeting with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has already been formalizedand one of the issues that has been put on the table to address the problem of the sector is
replicate the action plan initiated by Portugal. It is about injecting, in an exceptional way, different economic amounts to taxis, buses and heavy trucks while the fuel crisis lasts to help prevent inflation in the country from skyrocketing.

On the other hand, José Ángel Hernández considers that, "beyond the conflict in Ukraine,
a speculative spiral is taking place in the international stock markets». He argues that Spain, including the Canary Islands, imports 5% of the total imported oil from Russia, "and it is not normal", he says, "that by buying 95% in other markets these increases that we are suffering are being produced". In his opinion, there is a "stage fright" in the international markets that causes prices "to be pulling up". In this sense, he indicates that they have spoken with the main oil supply companies in the Canary Islands "and not even they have a forecast of how far this can go".

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