More car-free Sundays and a 110-km/hr. speed limit on highways - as in the Netherlands - are among proposals made on Saturday by the Groen party to reduce fuel consumption in Belgium amid rising gas prices, Belga News Agency reports.
The party would also like the Government to intervene “in the short term” to moderate fuel prices and take structural measures to fight fuel-dependency.
Lowering fuel taxes 'not enough'
For the Flemish Greens, the proposals tabled by the Government do not go far enough. “If we only lower fuel taxes without doing anything structural, we’ll always be in the same crisis every two years and we, as a society, will never be independent, where dependency on fossil fuels is concerned,” Groen leader Meyrem Almaci said.
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Following a meeting on Friday with Energia, the former Belgian Petroleum Federation, Federal Economic Affairs Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne (Socialist Party, PS) indicated that a perennial solution was being actively sought to avoid excessive increases in consumer prices for fuel, while preventing distributors from having to sell at a loss.
Groen would like to see further steps, including “an important mobility budget,” for people wishing to give up their cars, lower public transport fares, and VAT reduced to 6% when buying new bicycles.