According to the bill presented for the creation of an "exceptional and temporary regime of maximum prices for liquid fuels", the party argues that, as a result of the economic and social crisis caused by the pandemic, measures are needed to recover and increase the "disposable income of families".

The bill explains that the recent increase in fuel prices goes "in the opposite direction".

In a press conference to present the bills, the communist deputy Duarte Alves sustained that "it is not admissible that, when the price of oil rises, the prices paid by consumers rise in the same proportion", but when the price of oil falls, "prices remain almost unchanged".

Therefore, the party proposes to legislate and create an "exceptional and temporary regime of maximum prices for liquid fuels" and which will be in force until 31 December 2022.

"During the period of validity of the present law, a maximum price regime will be applied, before tax, for liquid fuels, taking into account the evolution of the price of 'Crude Oil Brent', published by the Directorate-General of Energy and Geology (DGEG)," the bill explains, suggesting a proportional adjustment for fuels used in agriculture, fisheries and transport.

The fuel price resulting from this regime must be fixed "by the Government within a maximum of one week" after the law comes into force and will be reviewed weekly, the Communist bench adds.

The second law provides for the "revision of the maximum price regime for bottled liquefied petroleum gas", and establishes the "maximum prices for natural gas, as well as propane, butane and their mixtures, bottled or piped".

For the regulation of the "liquefied petroleum gas for domestic use" sector, the Communist parliamentary group wants the creation of a "regime of maximum margins in the wholesale marketing and distribution of natural gas, as well as propane, butane and their mixtures, bottled or piped, with a view to reducing its price".

The aim, Duarte Alves explained, is "to take into account the average prices before tax in the Eurozone and, in the case of cylinder gas, to bring the prices" of these products in Portugal "closer to the prices in Spain", so as to discourage "cross-border trade, which is illegal and harmful to the country, and is a recurring practice in border regions".

He added that "given the parliamentary agenda, naturally, it will not be possible" to discuss the two proposals during this legislative session.

The Communists also presented a draft resolution (without legal force) for the Government to prevent the 3 percent increase in the regulated tariff announced by the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE).

According to the resolution, it is also recommended to promote the "reduction of this tariff, in order to influence the whole market towards price reduction, both for domestic consumers" and for SMEs that "continue to face enormous economic and social difficulties".

This initiative "may be discussed in committee and voted on during this legislative session", Duarte Alves explained during the press conference.

The PCP also presented a draft law to allow "the exemption of the payment of tax on oil and energy products in the part of energy produced from renewable energy sources".

In the opinion of the parliamentarian, "it is not acceptable that a tax intended for the taxation of oil products be applied to all electricity", including the portion coming from renewable sources and "whose weight has been increasing".

In this legislative initiative, the Communist deputy explained that it will also be proposed to eliminate the "prohibition of signing new contracts under the regulated tariff, as well as abolish the aggravating factors that artificially increase this tariff", to make it "uncompetitive" and reduce "its potential to regulate market prices".

Photo: Kolforn