South Korea is not considering lowering taxes on oil at the moment, despite growing demand to ease sky-high energy prices here, a South Korean Finance Ministry official said Tuesday.
"It is an issue that should be considered by taking into account all factors such as the impact of the recent price cut by oil refineries and the overall crude price movements," Joo Yung-sup, who is in charge of the finance ministry''s tax policy, told reporters.
"At this point, we are not considering lowering oil taxes," His remarks come as soaring oil prices are feared to hurt the livelihood of the working-class people, with gasoline prices exceeding 2,000 won (US$1.84) per liter at many gas stations. Currently, oil taxes account for around 50 percent of gasoline sold at the pump here, South Korea's news agency (Yonhap) reported.
Recently, major refineries reduced its oil supply prices by 100 won per liter in a bid to help the government efforts to stabilize energy prices.
But observers say that its impact on prices at the pump is not enough to make a dent in consumers pockets, calling for tax reduction imposed on oil consumption.