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Poland has not decided on windfall tax on energy firms, minister says

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KARPACZ — Poland has not decided if it will introduce a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies to support consumers, finance minister Magdalena Rzeczkowska said on Wednesday.

Rzeczkowska said that while energy companies benefited from high prices of electricity and gas, they also needed to invest their profits to finance a transformation away from fossil fuels.

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“On the one hand, there are potential profits but prices are unpredictable. Meanwhile, energy transformation means these profits have to be invested in the coming years,” Rzeczkowska told reporters at an economic conference.

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“It’s hard to say if we will introduce windfall tax, the decision has not been made,” she said.

Tax breaks to lower inflation are costing Poland some 30 billions zloty ($6.29 billion) per year, while subsidies for district heating, retail coal buyers and vulnerable gas consumers add a similar amount, finance ministry officials said.

In July, the ministries responsible for overseeing state-controlled energy companies were commissioned to initiate analytical work on a windfall tax.

Several European governments are considering windfall taxes. Germany will spend at least 65 billion euros on a new package shielding consumers and businesses from inflation that includes a windfall tax, benefit increases hikes and subsidies for public transport. (Reporting by Marek Strzelecki; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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