The council should "cut": Arsovska proposes that citizens and taxi drivers receive 200 denars each for the purchase of a hybrid or electric vehicle

The city councilors at the Council session scheduled for Thursday should decide whether they will give the green light to the proposals of the mayor Danela Arsovska for subsidizing citizens and taxi drivers who will buy a hybrid or electric vehicle.

According to the proposal-decision for determining the subsidy amount, submitted to the Council, the subsidy for citizens for a purchased new eco-vehicle with a hybrid or electric drive is determined in the amount of 200.000 denars including personal income tax. In the Budget of the City of Skopje for this year, 5 million denars are provided for this purpose, which is an amount sufficient to subsidize 25 vehicles. Moreover, if the decision is adopted, the mayor will prescribe the specific conditions, method and procedure for granting subsidies to Skopje residents.

 According to the data from the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, the emission of polluting substances in the air originates from almost all economic and social human activities, and traffic continues to be a significant source of emission of high amounts of polluting substances. The burning of fuels in motor vehicles has a significant share in pollution. The burning of fossil and biofuels in motor vehicles also reduces the quality of the ambient air as they additionally emit PM particles that reach high concentrations in the city of Skopje. With the adoption of the proposed decision, the Council of the City of Skopje, within its legal competences, contributes to the improvement of transport, which reduces the emissions of harmful particles in the air and improves the environment, thus we will have a cleaner and more modern Skopje - it is stated in the explanation of the proposal.

The city also foresees subsidies for taxi companies, whereby the amount of compensation for the purchase of an ecologically driven car in 2023 is MKD 200.000 per vehicle, but it cannot be obtained for more than five vehicles per legal entity. The conditions and criteria in this case too would be prescribed by the mayor, and the subsidies would be paid until the funds provided for that purpose are exhausted.

The proposer believes that if such a decision is adopted, sustainable urban transport will be affected for the purpose of protecting the quality of the ambient air and will contribute to the improvement of auto-taxi transport in Skopje.

As a reminder, at the end of 2018, the Government announced the introduction of subsidies for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles, as one of the measures in transport to reduce air pollution, but this has not been implemented to date. Money for this type of subsidies is not foreseen in the state budget for 2023 either.

In several European countries, there are benefits and financial exemptions that stimulate citizens to buy environmentally friendly vehicles, the mass use of which would have a positive impact on the environment.

Whether the councilors will recognize the benefit of introducing this type of subsidy and whether they will support Arsovska's proposal will be known on Thursday.

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