Government of Angola plans to remove fuel subsidies

9 March 2020

The government of Angola will bring an end to subsidies on fuel prices, said on Wednesday in Luanda, the minister of Finance, adding that this had not yet happened because the aim was to ensure that the impact of the decision “was as small as possible.”

During a meeting with journalists, Vera Daves stated there was continuous reflection on the best time and the best measures that can be applied to create an environment in which there is more employment and increased income for families.

“We don’t want to come to a situation in which a family gets to the middle of the month without money to pay for transport, to be able to go to work,” he said, adding that analysis was underway of the impacts of the measures, in phases, and how many measures they will be when they will start and what must be done to ensure that families feel less negative impact in the short term.

Without giving a period, he said he was aware of the importance of removing subsidies, due to a combination of factors, including the fact that Angolan state oil company Sonangol had requested a tax break as it is absorbing the cost of the subsidy on its balance sheet.

The Ministry of Finance, by granting this compensation, will no longer provide a set of goods and services, such as in the social field, which will not be carried out due to the tax that Sonangol fails to pay as a result of fuel prices, said the minister, quoted by the Angop news agency.

In addition to the significant expenditure that will no longer be incurred because of this subsidy, Daves said it also promotes speculation, because it leads to a significant difference between prices in Angola and in neighbouring countries.

“There are considerable quantities of fuels subsidised by Angolan taxpayers that are sold in neighbouring countries,” he said.

The agency reported that every year the Angolan State spends more than US$3.5 billion on fuel price subsidies. (macauhub)