NL: Petrol price could climb 21 cents per liter if gov’t doesn’t intervene

August 24, 2023   –THE HAGUE – If the Cabinet does not take new measures to reduce the petrol price, motorists will soon pay 21 cents more per liter at the pump. The government acknowledged this in answers to questions from parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt. The excise duty on diesel would increase by about 13 cents. Earlier this year, the government reduced excise duties as a measure against the high (energy) prices. The reduction has been partially reversed and will expire on 1 January 2024. 

The enormous increase in fuel prices is also due to the fact that excise rates are increasing in line with inflation. The exact amount also depends on the development of fuel prices themselves. The outgoing Cabinet stressed in the answers to parliamentary questions “that the excise rates can still change as of 1 January 2024” if the Cabinet decides to do something about it in the budget. The lower house of the Dutch parliament, which is still considering all tax measures for 2024, could also intervene. 

The Cabinet top will negotiate at the Ministry of Finance on Thursday evening about possible purchasing power measures for next year. Because many measures taken earlier will expire on January 1, the government is expected to extend some or introduce other regulations. 

Preventing households from having much less to spend in the future is an important goal of the outgoing Cabinet. It will present a budget with few new policies. However, the emphasis will be on measures to support the poorest households. The Central Planning Office warned that almost 6 percent of the population will live in poverty if the Cabinet does not take new measures. Parliament has also explicitly asked the government for a package against poverty. 

Despite the tight government finances, the Cabinet wants to do something about this for next year. It is not known whether this will also include measures to prevent fuel prices from rising enormously. In his answers to Omtzigt’s questions, State Secretary Marnix van Rij (Taxes) referred to parliament’s call to “keep lower fuel excise duties on the table as an option” during the budget negotiations. However, he did not want to make any promises and stressed that tempering excise rates has a considerable price tag. 

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