Excise tax hike to 'nuke' transit industry, says representative

Next year's excise tax hike and increased tariffs at Latvian Railways amounts to "nuking" Latvia's transit industry, said Inga Antāne, head of the port companies' association Baltic Association - Transport and Logistics.

"I think the state system or state government is prepared to nuke the transit industry and then look on at what happens next," said Antāne in an interview with Latvian Radio.

She criticized that the excise tax hike as it's taking place as Latvia sees freight volumes fall. Furthermore, she said, it's taking place "at a time when our partners in Belarus and Russia are saying tariffs should be reviewed".

Instead of fighting among themselves for business, Latvia's ports should "cooperate in competition" she added, without suggesting this would amount to a cartel.

Latvian Railways are about to increase freight tariffs starting 2018. 

Antāne claims that all this put together will make Latvia an expensive transport corridor and decrease competitiveness.

As reported, the tax reform approved by the Saeima stipulates an excise tax hike that could see gasoline and diesel prices go up by 4 to 5 cents a liter. 

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