If prices continue to rise, besides capping fuel prices, we will raise allowances for socially vulnerable households, and as for electricity and gas prices, we will rely on (power utility) HEP, which can share the burden and buffer the blow to citizens, he told Mirela Ahmetović of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who asked what he planned to do about price rises.
As a third element, the prime minister mentioned VAT, which is 13% on electricity and 25% on gas.
He said energy price hikes were due to supply disruptions, COVID, and high demand. “Households in Croatia still haven’t seen a rise in the price of electricity nor will they experience it before 1 April. It’s the same with the price of gas.”
“Whether the prices of electricity and gas rise or not, citizens will pay for the growth of basic groceries’ prices. That’s not important to you because you have money for that,” Ahmetović said, telling Plenković he should think about his behaviour because his stock was falling and comparing him with former PM Ivo Sanader.
Peđa Grbin, SDP, asked how much Croatia would be able to spend of the HRK 5 billion from the EU Solidarity Fund for post-earthquake reconstruction and if the deadline for using the money could be extended.
“The deadline is 18 months, but deadlines are not the holy scripture. It’s necessary to explain the circumstances to the Commission and I think we will explain our arguments well and use the funds,” said Plenković.
Grbin said Plenković should assume the responsibility if the deadline was not extended.