Activist countries

Cost of living: Here’s what other countries are doing to cut costs

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From April, UK households will see their energy bills rise by up to 54% as the price cap limiting what suppliers can charge is lifted.

This is primarily because energy companies pass on the high cost of wholesale gas to ordinary consumers.

However, not all countries have passed these costs on to consumers. In France, state-owned energy company EDF was forced to take an €8.4bn (£7bn) financial hit to cap household bills at just 4%.

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In December, low-income households also received a one-off payment of €100 to help them cope with rising energy costs. In the UK, households will receive a loan of £200 as energy prices are expected to rise again in October.

This loan will be repaid in installments on future bills.

From April, France will also introduce a reduction of 15 cents per liter on fuel at service stations.


This week, Germany adopted a series of measures to help households cope with the cost of living crisis, including a reduction in fuel tax for three months by 30 cents for petrol and 14 cents for diesel.

Meanwhile, the government is launching a large-scale program to replace oil and gas furnaces in households with electric heat pumps to help homes decarbonize and protect against high energy bills in the future. .

All taxpayers in Germany will receive a one-off payment of 300 euros to help with the rising cost of living, with an additional 100 euros for each child and an additional 100 euros for anyone receiving state benefits.

The cost of a 90-day public transport ticket will be reduced to just nine euros to encourage the adoption of low-carbon travel.


Late last year, Spain levied a windfall tax on energy suppliers and generators to prevent them from reaping ‘extraordinary benefits’ due to the rising cost of wholesale electricity prices. energy.

This has been extended this year and will cushion the high energy costs for consumers.

Bulgaria, Italy and Romania have also introduced taxes on energy suppliers.

In Spain, household energy bills will also be reduced thanks to a reduction in VAT on bills from 21% to 10% until June, while electricity taxes have been reduced from 7% to 0 .5%.

In the UK, Labor has called for a windfall tax on energy giants like BP which made record profits last year, but no such measure was announced in the spring budget.

New Zealand

New Zealand is another country that has opted to reduce fuel taxes, with excise duty on petrol reduced by 25 cents per litre. At the same time, the country reduced public transport fares by 50% to encourage the use of greener transport options.

In addition, around 60% of families with children will benefit from an increase in tax credits, with benefits also expected to increase.

The New Zealand government is also relaunching its “winter energy payment” on May 1 to subsidize rising energy costs for households across the country.


The Irish government has introduced an energy rebate of €200 which will be given to every household from April.

People already claiming fuel allowance will receive an additional €125 (£105) in addition.

Public transport fares in Ireland will be reduced by 20% until the end of the year to help reduce spiraling travel costs.

North of the border in Northern Ireland, public transport fares have been frozen. In the UK, rail fares rose 3.8% in early March.