Should tourists be eligible for the fuel discount in the Canary Islands?

The regional government of the Canary Islands is currently deliberating whether to extend the fuel discount measure to rental cars used by tourists or restrict it solely to residents.

The Government of the Canary Islands is currently assessing whether to extend a potential fuel discount, which has been preliminarily introduced in the greener islands of La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro, to include hire cars or limit it strictly to residents on the eastern islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.

During a parliamentary session, Finance Minister Matilde Asián addressed concerns raised by PSOE deputy Manuel Hernández Cerezo. Hernández Cerezo criticized the government for discriminatory practices by only implementing the fuel discount on three of the five non-capital islands, which he claims has fostered a sense of “third-tier insularity.”

He highlighted that the residents of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are subjected to the highest fuel prices in the archipelago due to governmental inaction, leading to disparities among the islands. He proposed that at least 40% of the discount granted to the other islands should be extended to these eastern islands.

Should tourists be eligible for the fuel discount in the Canary Islands?

Hernández Cerezo also pointed out the government’s limited response of establishing a price observatory and studying fuel market trends in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, while mismanaging the discount implementation in the greener islands. On April 1st, the same day the discount was introduced, fuel prices increased by ten cents, effectively halving the intended 20-cent rebate.

Responding to these criticisms, the councillor explained that the fuel discount in the green islands is a temporary measure, running from April 1 to December 31, serving as a pilot project aimed at reducing consumer prices. If the desired reduction isn’t achieved, alternative approaches will be considered. For Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, the government is conducting a market study to determine if equivalent measures should be applied.

Should tourists be eligible for the fuel discount in the Canary Islands?

She underscored the challenge in these eastern islands, where the heavy reliance on tourist car rentals complicates the application of the discount. The government is committed to reducing prices for residents but remains cautious about extending these benefits to tourists, especially as it contemplates a tourist tax.

“The government is committed to thorough and evidence-based policy-making to protect the interests of the residents of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote and is prepared to implement corrective measures once the market study is complete,” she affirmed.

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