Bottle sellers in Lisbon say the price hikes are having an effect on sales and consider setting prices a ridiculous measure. They are calling for a reduction in value-added tax.
Prices for gas cylinders have risen sharply since September last year, and the trend was exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Climbing burdens the pockets of Portuguese families and takes The government reimposes the ceilings on the prices of some bills. For ECO, retail bottlers in Lisbon neighborhoods point out that the situation is having an impact on sales and consider price control an absurd measure. They are calling for a reduction in value-added tax.
More than half of Portuguese families still rely on bottled gas, butane or propane, to cook or heat their homes. This does not prevent price hikes from affecting the gas bottle business. “There was a fairly general drop in sales.” José Aguiar, in charge of the Oz Energia store, in the Pontinha district, in the ECO Lisbon, admits that the trend “has been going on since Covid”, but has only worsened with the war.
Despite stressing that August is always unusual, since “people are on vacation, it’s hot and there are more grills,” so there is “not much consumption” of bottled gas, Jose Aguiar points out, althoughIn July, this store sold about 1,800 bottles of 13 kg of butane, Most common in Portuguese homes, a value comparable to about 1,950 tickets sold in the same period in 2021. It is broken by about 8%.
A few blocks away, Jorge Ferreira, owner of Artigos Eléctricos Anale, confirmed the trend. “Since I have been here for 40 years, I go to those people who have been with the house for many years, otherwise people will not have the opportunity”, says Galp retailer, adding that the drop in sales is also due to the fact that “new people” don’t cook as much. “It’s just microwaves and microwaves and microwaves,” he shot between laughs.
I may sell 500 fewer bottles a month than last year.
Jorge Ferreira has been working in this trade for more than four plump pairs, and notes that “the gas is down a lot”. If about 20 years ago this space had nine employees and sold roughly “300 to 400 bottles a day,” now it only has two workers and sales are dropping. “I might sell 500 fewer bottles a month than last year.”census.
Besides these two merchants, Gustavo Martins, an employee of a pump in the Alvalade region, as well as Manuel Santos, owner of the Auto-fascinante workshop in Benfica, stated that in this period of ‘Summer is very difficult to sell gas cylinders.’ However, unlike the businessmen interviewed by the ECO in the region of Pontine, Manuel Santos does not show a decrease in sales compared to previous years.
“People who need gas have to buy it… It’s a basic thing in the house for those who have gas and for that they have to find money“, sums up the owner of this workshop, which resells Galp gas cylinders. However, the merchant assures that since prices began to rise, “each bottle has increased by 10 euros or more”. On the other hand, Gustavo Martins asserts that the price hike has affected sales, although he did not provide specific figures.
From subsidies to value-added tax cuts, merchants are asking the government to take measures
To counter the price hike, the government once again imposed caps on the prices of some gas cylinders. The measure is temporary and allows savings between 3.18€ and 6.206€ per bottle. However, sellers consulted by the ECO consider the procedure to be sarcastic and defend others.
Companies already have more costs due to deliveries due to the increase in fuel, so the devaluation removes more of the already reduced margin.
“The ideal is to create support over value.” [a pagar por botija] to help peopleJose Aguiar says, noting that this price control punishes the business sector. “in Companies already have more costs in deliveries because of the increase in fuel, and devaluing takes more of our margin, and it’s already low“. The opposite opinion is held by Manuel Santos, owner of the Auto-fascinante workshop, who welcomes this price fixation and says that he is against possible state support.”People should earn enough so that the government does not have to put up with these situations.”existing.
According to the measure issued by the government, a bottle of butane with a weight of 13 kg can not exceed 29.47 euros, while a bottle of 12.5 kg can cost 28.34 euros. At the same time, in the case of T3 Propane LPG, the limit varies between €29.11 per 11kg bottle and 23.81kg per 9kg bottle. T5 LPG canisters can cost as much as €109.08 (45 kg) or €84.84 (35 kg).
It is certain that in the commercial establishments consulted by the ECO, price fixing on 13kg bottles of butane (most used in Portuguese homes) had little effect compared to previously charged prices.resulting in savings of between €1.43 and €2.53 per bottle. In the four establishments, the price of such a bottle is about 29 euros. even so, “There were others [estabelecimentos] who benefited, with bottles at a price of 35-36 euros ”, A colleague of Jose Aguiar, owner of Oz Energia, is stuck in Benfica.
Artigos Eléctricos Anale shop owner regrets that although this procedure is mandatory for all commercial establishments in Portugal, this is not the case, Therefore, tougher inspections are requested. “It’s like diesel and gasoline, they say yes, but it’s not. Not for all cylinders or all brands. If you go there by the road see…”, shoots Jorge Ferreira. In an inspection carried out by the National Authority for the Energy Sector (ENSE), on August 17 – one day after the entry into force of the measure – in association with 108 commercial facilities Seven violations were detected.
If they lower the value-added tax, it will benefit everyone.
Instead of setting prices, Jorge Ferreira advocates lowering the value-added tax on gas cylinders. “I don’t say the reduction to 6% anymore, so they don’t say a person is asking for too much, but for 13%”, the merchant notes, adding that this decision will benefit “all people.” And Jose Aguiar, who highlights this, shares this position “In Spain it already works this way.” The ECO inquired the Ministry of Finance if it was considering this possibility, but had not received a response until the end of this article. However, it is important to stress that if this happens, it will have to be negotiated with Brussels.
In parallel with setting prices and easing the increase in the energy bill, the government relaunched the Solidarity Belhar program in April, which provided for paying 10 euros per bottle per month to beneficiaries of the social tariff. Electricity and minimum social benefits.
To ECO, owner of Oz Energia, in Pontinha, acknowledges that he has “some clients” who turn to this support, Given that this store is located near “some social areas, such as the Padre Cruz and Horta Nova neighborhood”, so “there are people who used it”. “There was a lot, too [clientes] To ask and we tried to explain, but they weren’t always able to join in,” says Jose Aguiar.
On the other hand, Jorge Ferreira considers it The measure “convince no one” and says that “many clients have given up” under the bureaucracy inherent. according to News Diary DrAnd during the three months that this support was in effect, it covered 25,542 bottles worth more than 255,000 euros. The program reached, on average, eight thousand families per month.
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