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Finns have rushed to express their support for a citizens’ initiative to abolish the diesel tax, with the price of diesel exceeding that of 95-octane petrol at some service stations in the country. (Credit: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)
Finns have rushed to express their support for a citizens’ initiative to abolish the diesel tax, with the price of diesel exceeding that of 95-octane petrol at some service stations in the country. (Credit: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

 

Timo Heinonen (NCP), a third-term Member of Parliament from Häme, told Uusi Suomi on Tuesday that he is supportive of the idea of abolishing the diesel tax.

Heinonen commented on the issue in the wake of overwhelming public support for a citizens’ initiative calling for the abolition of the tax, which received over 50,000 statements of support in no more than roughly 12 hours on Monday.

Over 105,000 members of the public have already voiced their support for the initiative. A total of 50,000 statements of support are required to present a citizens’ initiative to the Finnish Parliament.

Heinonen on Tuesday argued that the diesel tax has become unwarranted with the price of diesel exceeding that of petrol in some areas, meaning motorists driving diesel-powered vehicles no longer receive anything in exchange for the annual tax.

“It isn’t sustainable to have a diesel tax while the price of diesel is higher than that of petrol,” he stated. “That can’t be the case. We’ve ended up in a situation that’s wrong and unfair. Now motorists driving diesel cars have to shoulder a punitive tax.”

Heinonen also admitted that abolishing the tax would not be beneficial for the environment.

“But right now it’d be the just course of action. It looks like so much has happened in the automotive industry so quickly that it’d be better to take action proactively rather than make decisions when forced to,” he explained.

Many participants in the public debate kindled by the citizens’ initiative have suggested that abolishing the diesel tax could result in an increase in the fuel tax and, consequently, an increase fuel prices.

Heinonen viewed that the tax burden on road users should nevertheless be distributed more evenly, but also admitted that he has yet to consider how the central government could recoup the revenue loss arising from the possible abolition of the diesel tax.

“The whole system should be fair and just to different road users. I’m sure there’s a system that distributes the tax burden more evenly between different users,” he said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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