The European Parliament – Photo: wikipedia

Fidesz MEP: EU carbon tax to result in energy price increase

The introduction of a carbon tax approved on Tuesday by the European Parliament as part of the first major package of legislation aimed at achieving the EU's climate goals will have a limited contribution to environmental protection, but will result in a steep increase in energy prices, an MEP of ruling Fidesz said, commenting on the vote.

The tax to be introduced as part of the planned reform of the EU’s greenhouse gas emission trading system would be payable as of 2027 by anyone who owns a flat or a car, Edina Toth told MTI in Strasbourg.

The measure would in the long-term put at risk the maintenance of Hungary’s household utility cap scheme, she said, adding that the MEPs of the allied ruling Fidesz and Christian Democrats had voted against the tax.

Introducing a carbon tax would increase fuel prices by 20-25 percent and energy prices and heating costs by 27 percent, which would push up the monthly utility costs of an average Hungarian family by up to 12,000 forints (EUR 32), Toth said. She said a green transition was highly important, adding that its cost should be paid not by the citizens, but by the major polluters.

In connection with the approval as part of the package of the Social Climate Fund planned to be set up to compensate vulnerable consumers, Toth said “the 3 billion euros earmarked for Hungary will not be enough for anything”. She said it was a pseudo measure under which a lot smaller amount of money would be redistributed to Hungary than the amount paid by European citizens. “We however support the initiative … but it needs to be noted that it is no solution to the basic problem,” the Fidesz MEP said.

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