FROM this morning the price of fuel has been cut by 20 cents per litre, following a government move last night. But the manner of getting the discount has left drivers confused, and some petrol station owners threatening to close or limit the amount of fuel drivers can take. While others suffered technical problems trying to implement the discount.
Last night Pedro Sánchez‘s government announced the discount, which will be in place until 30 June, although that date could be extended. It covers all types of fuel and the 20 cents will be split, with 15 cents being met by the government and 5 cents by the oil companies, although the government will cover the whole cost for some smaller companies.
The discount is part of a package of measures announced by the Spanish central government on Monday to try and offset the economic consequences being felt by families and businesses following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Lorry drivers, some of whom have been on strike, have been particularly hard hit by the sudden hike in fuel costs.
Some drivers filling up on Friday were confused because the prices displayed on the forecourts are still the market prices. However, from each litre of fuel purchased 20 cents is then discounted from the total. All this information, including the market price and the total discount is to be clearly displayed on the customer’s receipt.
In theory this is what should happen, however, news agency EFE, today reported that many service stations in the Valencia region were experiencing technical problems in trying to apply th 20 cent discount, due to it being a bonificacion and as such exempt from IVA (VAT).
“A disgrace and a chaos”
President of the Mediterranean Service Stations Business Federation, Juan José Sánchez Segarra, told EFE: “There is no point-of-sale (POS) terminal prepared to carry out this operation, and that is creating a big problem for us.
“It is a disgrace and chaos what is happening. Perhaps later they [the government] may not want to pay us the money we are advancing because we are not doing it correctly.”
Segarra also wondered if the government would keep their promise and start paying the service stations from Monday. “We’ll see whether it takes three days or three months”, he said.
Consumer groups are advising motorists to check their receipts and keep them