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Centre Party calls for fuel tax rise

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12:13 CEST+02:00
The Centre Party has said that it wants a further increase in the tax on petrol in order to accelerate reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The party is calling for a rise to be introduced in the 2008 budget.

"It's a very important principle which the Centre Party has long fought for - raising tax on the things which harm the environment and the climate, and lowering the tax on working," said environment minister Anders Carlgren.

The party has been pushing for the increase in the budget negotiations which are currently taking place among the four-party ruling Alliance. On Saturday there was clear support for the position at the party conference in Kalmar - despite the fact that many of the Centre Party's core voters live in the countryside and would be worst affected by increased petrol costs.

"You'll see what will happen with the price of petrol when we put forward the budget. But it is completely clear that today there is a much greater understanding in Sweden of what the climate requires than ever before," said Carlgren.

Nevertheless, there was criticism from party members who were worried about the impact of increased petrol costs. In response, the party agreed that travel costs should be offset against tax payments.

"We think it's important to compensate those who have long journeys to work in some way," said Anders Carlgren.

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