Drivers in Spain have been able to benefit from the discount for the past seven months. / sur

When will Spain's 20-cent discount on a litre of fuel come to an end?

The measure was introduced by the government in March as part of a package to help people offset rising energy costs and was meant to last for three months, but since then it has been extended twice

ISABEL MÉNDEZ MALAGA.

In March this year, when fuel prices were rocketing and electricity and gas bills were getting more expensive each month, the Spanish government introduced measures to try to reduce the impact on household budgets. One of these was a discount of 20 cents on each litre of fuel, of which the government pays 15 cents and the suppliers pay the rest.

This was originally designed to be in force for three months and to end on 30 June, but it was then extended first to 30 September and then until the end of the year. It was maintained in order to “protect families, companies and industries in our country from rising prices,” government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez said.

Major companies like Repsol and Cepsa therefore said they too would maintain the additional discounts which they had been applying for the previous three months.

There are two ways in which filling stations can apply the discount: either by adding extra fuel to the amount requested, for example if a customer asks for 20 euros worth of petrol they will receive the relevant amount more, or by applying the discount when they pay at the till so their bill is cheaper.

Bearing in mind that fuel prices have been dropping, it is possible that the government will scrap the discount on 31 December as planned. Or will it extend the period it is in force again, as consumers are still being hit hard by high inflation and constantly rising energy bills? There will undoubtedly be an answer soon.