Parliament meeting over energy relief package

Ljubljana – The National Assembly will convene a two-day emergency session on Monday to take a decision on the government package to mitigate the impact of high energy prices on households and businesses. It will also decide whether to ban a referendum on Boxer APCs.

The EUR 210 million package includes aid for roughly 40,500 businesses, farmers and beekeepers worth a combined EUR 70 million, and an EUR 106.5 million energy voucher scheme for households.

Some 710,000 beneficiaries would be eligible for EUR 150 energy vouchers, including recipients of income support and welfare, large families, pensioners with under EUR 1,000 in pensions, the disabled, and some other vulnerable groups.

If the bill is passed, households’ power bills will be reduced for three months for the cost of network fees, and excise duties on electricity and fuels will be reduced to the lowest possible rate.

Due to the three-month waiver on network fees and contributions, small shareholders of power distribution companies have threatened they will challenge the bill at the Constitutional Court if it is passed.

Vouchers are to be paid out by 15 April at the latest with the cost covered by the Climate Change Fund.

Business subjects eligible for one-off aid will be those whose energy costs this year will be up more than 40% compared with 2021. Beekeepers were included as beneficiaries with an amendment endorsed on the committee on Friday.

The assembly will also decide on the government’s proposal not to allow a referendum, sought by the opposition Left, on a law ratifying an agreement with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation under which the government is planning to buy 45 Boxer armoured personnel vehicles.

Other items on the agenda include a bill on emergency measures in support of the labour market.