If the price of petrol increases on the world market and Estonia's neighbors will not increase fuel excise duty then the Estonian government could shelve its plans to increase tax on petrol, says Finance Minister Sven Sester.
The topic has received much criticism from the industry, voters and experts alike. Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas was also forced to apologize after he said in a newspaper interview that people should buy more economical cars. Protests against the idea, which would see the excise duty rate on petrol increase 10 percent each year from 2016-2019 and more on diesel, are already planned.
Sester said that alternatives to plug holes in the budget and pay for coalition promises were discussed, but excise duty hikes were preferred to tax on company profits, an increase in income tax and other taxes.
He said they must first meet interest groups, such as the transit sector, which has already been hit hard by decreased volumes from Russia.
Editor: J.M. Laats