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Hungary considers “Robin Hood” energy tax – agency

Energy Trade

Hungary’s government is considering a “Robin Hood” tax on energy firms to finance compensation payment to households to help offset rising district heating costs, national news agency MTI said late on Sunday.

MTI said the tax, likely in effect for two years, would be levied on energy companies’ extra profits from high energy prices. The news agency said the government expected to raise revenues of Ft 30 billion ($177 million) from the new tax, and the compensation payment would go to low-income households. The government could make a decision on the new tax by early October, MTI said. The finance ministry declined comment.

Hungary’s annual gas consumption totals about 14 billion cubic meters, most of which is covered from imports, primarily from Russia. Import prices have increased as a result of a sharp rise in global energy prices. The price of gas, which also affects district heating charges, is a sensitive political issue in Hungary.

Opposition party Fidesz which has a wide lead in opinion polls over the ruling Socialists, repeatedly slams the cabinet when it hikes gas prices. Gas prices to households rose by 9.9% in July, 5.8% in April and 5% in January. A further price hike of 6.55% is due on Oct 1. (Reuters)

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