If there is a group that is particularly sensitive to the price of fuel, it is that of transportation. In Spain, close to 90% of goods move by road. Therefore, the comparison of the taxation of diesel to that of gasoline is a delicate matter for the sector. When the government announced the measure in the middle of last year, it clarified that the rise would not affect the professionals who have taken up professional diesel, that is, trucks with more than 7.5 tons, buses and taxis with taximeters. Of this group, which benefits from a partial refund of the tax, it is nevertheless excluded a large group of professionals that covers the fleet of 130,000 transport vehicles of less than 7.5 tons and the almost 7,000 taxi drivers who work in small cores of population and that do not use a meter.
These almost 140,000 professionals, as it is right now the legislation, could not benefit from the bonus and would have to assume the rise of 4.6 cents per liter – including VAT – which has raised the Ministry of Finance in the draft General Budgets of the State of 2019. For this reason, the transport employers, Fenadismer, has urged the department headed by María Jesús Montero to modify the figure of professional diesel to include light vehicles as beneficiaries.
His claim, for now, has fallen on deaf ears. On Friday, sources from Fenadismer confirmed that there was a meeting between the General Director of Transportation, Mercedes Gómez, and the Tributes, María José Garde, at the end of which it was communicated to the carriers that it is not possible for the vehicles of less than 7.5 tons, which represent a third of the sector, benefit from the extentions of professional diesel. The Ministry of Finance understands that the European directive that regulates the issue does not allow to apply this benefit to light transport vehicles.
As in the case of carriers, sources of Fedetaxi, the majority association of the sector, assure that the response they have received from the Government when they have dealt with the issue of taxis in rural areas has been the same. "The question was raised in the National Road Transport Committee, which sent letters to the Ministries of Finance and Development. The answer we received is that the European directive stipulates that only taxi drivers with a meter can benefit from professional diesel and that they would not touch even though the government has the capacity to do so, "they explain.
Despite the refusal expressed by the Ministry of Finance at the meeting last Friday, only three days later, the head of the department, María Jesús Montero, in her appearance to explain the Budgets, left a door open to a possible modification of the directive, although he measured his words in extreme to ensure that the Tax Agency is studying "if there are formulas" to monitor when one of these vehicles is used for professional purposes and when for personal purposes in order to avoid fraud in the possible application of the fuel exemption. "It is difficult to control when these people use their vehicle for their daily life and when to work," admitted the head of Finance.
The words of Montero have caused some surprise in the sector of the carriers for the apparent contradiction they suppose regarding the position expressed by the Treasury at the meeting on Friday. However, before considering any possible mobilizations, the group prefers to wait to see how the negotiations on improvements in freight transport take place, in which the issue of taxation is included.
For Fenadismer, the increase in taxation would be a serious blow for small carriers, most of them self-employed, because it would mean a second increase to add to the one they have already supported since the beginning of the year. On January 1 another increase came into force which, according to the group, implies an increase of up to 100% of the regional tax on fuel in some regions. Specifically, in Castilla-León, Cantabria, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarra, Madrid, Aragon and Extremadura have seen the tax increase increased almost five cents per liter, according to the employer's calculations. Fenadismer has already warned that the increase in taxation would have a very negative impact on Spanish exports, "taking into account that the main destination of Spanish goods are the countries of the European Union (66'3% of the total), which are transported mainly by road ».