The Greens may backtrack on plans to raise the tax on gas. Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP

Greens backtrack on gas tax hike

The Green Party will reconsider its demand to raise the tax on gas, a central campaigning point for the party ahead of the September election.

The matter has been debated within the party board following the party's disappointing election results, newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports.

Karin Svensson Smith, the Green Party’s climate chair, told Swedish Radio News that the party has discussed alternative strategies for reducing car use, like introducing congestion charges, raising parking fees and expanding local transport networks in the cities.

According to Svensson Smith, the party has recognised that policies must be adjusted to the different needs of cities and rural areas, where it is more important to push for renewable fuels.

Asked why these differences are being considered now, when they have always been known, Svensson Smith said: "We are discussing how to get our message across better, considering the election result and particularly considering the international climate reports which very clearly say it is high time to change behaviours."

Svensson Smith added: "I think you have to be perceptive and have a good discussion with people locally."

Svensson Smith now says the gas tax should remain at today's rate of around SEK 3 per litre, which is higher than in most countries. However, ahead of the election the Greens vowed to raise the carbon dioxide tax by 70 öre per litre.

The tax was introduced in 1991 and has susequently been raised by both Social Democrat and Moderate Party-led governments.

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