The tax office is not in a position to cut energy taxes this year, despite government pledges that they will go down, economic affairs minister Eric Wiebes told MPs on Thursday evening.
Earlier this week the government said it would cut energy taxes for private households and bring in some form of carbon tax for heavy industry. The concessions followed the publication of two reports on the cabinet’s climate plans which said consumers would pick up most of the bill for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
MPs debated the reports’ findings on Thursday evening and the government came under heavy fire to make clear what it plans to do to restore the balance.
Opposition parties, including GroenLinks and the Socialists, criticised the cabinet for saying it would cut taxes just six days before crucial elections without being able to actually do so.
‘It would only be decent… to give more clarity rather than just make vague promises,’ SP leader Lilian Marijnissen said.
Energy bills for the average household have risen some €30 a month this year, following higher charges for gas and higher taxes.
Ministers have said they will publish their proposals to cut both energy bills and bring in a carbon tax at the end of April.
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