Significant part of government’s autumn relief package becomes effective

NEWS 01.10.2022 15:57
Source: N1/Ilustracija

A significant number of measures of the government's autumn package to protect households and businesses against soaring energy and food prices takes effect on 1 October, including a cap on electricity prices for households and the real and public as well as non-profit-making sectors.

The government’s €2.8bn relief package was unveiled on 8 September.

Under the latest package of measures, from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, households will pay €59 per megawatt-hour for consumption of up to 2,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity and €88 on average for consumption above that threshold.

The households category will include kindergartens, schools, universities, retirement homes, non-governmental organisations, religious communities, municipalities and towns. They will be subject to a universal tariff of €62/MWh.

Businesses that consume less than 250,000 kWh over the next six months will pay HRK 0.52 (€0.07) per kWh and those that use more will pay €1.62. Large consumers that use more than 2.5 gigawatts will be subject to a tariff of €250/MWh.

Natural gas prices for households will be limited until 31 March 2023. A model for the enterprise sector is being prepared at the EU level.

As regards heating energy, the unit price for 160,000 households and businesses with central and closed heating systems will remain unchanged.

The government also prepared a HRK 1.1 million (€147,000) aid package for those that use wood as a heating fuel, and an estimated 35,000 users will be covered by this scheme.

Increasing non-taxable receipts, payments to pensioners

Non-taxable special rewards are increased from HRK 3,000 (€400) to 5,000 (€667) annually, and rewards for work performance are increased from HRK 5,000 to 7,500 (€1,000).

Non-taxable lump-sum amounts to cover workers’ food expenses are increased from HRK 5,000 to 6,000 (€800) annually, and non-taxable pension severance pay is increased from HRK 8,000 (€1,066) to 10,000 (€1,330).

130,000 recipients of child benefits will receive a one-off payment of HRK 300 (€40) for one child, HRK 500 (€67) for two children, HRK 700 (€93) for three children, HRK 900 (€120) for four children and HRK 1,100 (€145) for five children..

One-off energy allowances to be paid to 689,000 pensioners in October

Nearly 689,000 recipients of pensions below HRK 4,360 (€581) will be granted a one-off energy allowance in October as part of the government’s energy bills support scheme, while the eligible recipients of pensions from abroad will be paid the grant in December.

The government has allocated HRK 462.2 million (€62 million) for the energy bills support scheme for pensioners this autumn.

The government has allocated HRK 462.2 million (€62 million) for the energy bills support scheme for pensioners this autumn.

Under the energy bills support scheme, HRK 1,200 of direct support will be paid to pensioners whose allowance is below HRK 1,850 and an estimated 97,000 pensioners are in this category, according to the information provided by the labour and pension system ministry.

An estimated 98,000 pensioners with monthly allowances up to HRK 2,350 will receive HRK 900 as the direct support for their energy bills.

About 300,000 recipients of pensions up to 3,350 will be granted HRK 600.

An estimated 194,000 recipients of pensions up to HRK 4,360 are entitled to HRK 400 as one-off energy allowance in October.

The Croatian citizens who receive both Croatian and foreign pension allowances are required to submit evidence about their monthly pension until 30 November and all of them with the pension allowance below HRK 4,360 will be entitled also to this kind of the direct support, which will be disbursed in December.

Jobless to get €33 monthly for October, November and December as part of aid package

Unemployed persons registered with the Croatian Employment Service on 1 September will be paid HRK 250 (€33) monthly for October, November and December.

Vulnerable energy buyers will see their allowance increase from HRK 400 (€53) to HRK 500 (€67). The same increase will apply to foster parents.

Funding for the “Make a Wish” programme aimed at employment of women will be increased by HRK 245 million (€33m).

Prices for nine basic food products capped

The government decision’s on direct measures to control the prices of certain food products also sets a cap on the prices of nine food products, including oil, flour, sugar, pork, chicken and mixed minced meat, in order to preserve the purchasing power of citizens.

Under the government’s decision, the highest retail price for edible sunflower oil per litre must not exceed HRK 15.99 (EUR 2.12), and the retailer’s margin calculated on the net invoice price minus all rebates and non-invoice discounts can be a maximum of 5%.

The highest retail price of long-life (UHT) milk with 2.8% milk fat must not exceed HRK 7.39 (EUR 0.98) per litre, with a maximum margin of 5%.

White sugar must not cost more than HRK 7.99 (EUR 1.06) per kilogramme and the margin is limited to a maximum of 1%.

The highest retail price for smooth white flour per kilogramme must not exceed HRK 5.99 (EUR 0.80) and for rough white flour HRK 6.29 (EUR 0.83) with a maximum profit margin of 5%.

The price of boneless pork shoulder and of pork neck with bones cannot be more than HRK 24.99 (EUR 3.32) per kilogramme, and for mixed minced meat HRK 32.99 (EUR 4.38) per kilogramme, with the maximum margin set at 1%.

A whole chicken may not be sold for more than HRK 24.99 (EUR 3.32) per kilogramme, with a maximum margin of 5%.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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