ECONOMY

Steep fuel tax hike put off for 2012

Household heating bills will be an estimated 150 euros higher on average this winter, as a result of the hike in the special consumption tax from 21 to 60 euros per 1,000 liters.

If the tax had been standardized (as speculation had it) with that of automotive diesel, in order to combat rampant tax evasion in fuel distribution, the extra cost would have been 1,000 euros.

The government said the standardization will take effect next year.

As of October 15 and based on current oil prices, heating fuel will cost 98 cents a liter against 73 cents a year ago and an average of 85 cents last winter.

Distributors estimate the cost of average consumption for the season in Attica at 1,750 euros.

Demand for heating fuel was 5 percent down in the first half of 2011 year-on-year.