Smokers have been the first to have been hit by price rises with the price of tobacco yesterday going up by between ten and 15 cents. The price increases, introduced quite simply in an attempt to eventually bring tobacco prices in Spain in line with the rest of Europe, came into effect across the nation yesterday, although being an extra day's holiday in the Balearics, the price hikes will not be introduced until this morning. Public transport users will also notice a change in prices with bus and rail prices set to rise by as much as 4.19 per cent. The increases are because of a new automatic price assessment system introduced by the public transport sector. The biggest rises will be in the price of public bus transport. In accordance with the new system, each of the public bus companies operating in Spain, using the 4.19 per cent bench mark, will have to decide for themselves by exactly how much the price of bus tickets will cost, largely dependent on the impact price increase will have on the travelling public. But, there is some good news for consumers. The price of bottled butano gas has come down. As of yesterday, a bottle of butano gas is 6.75 per cent cheaper. The maximum cost of a 12.5 kilo bottle of gas has therefore been reduced by 62 cents and now costs 8.57 euros. The main reasons for the reduction in the price of butano gas is that the price of gas has fallen by 22 per cent, along with transport costs. Spain is still the leading consumer in Europe of bottled gas, although since 1993, sales have fallen with an increasing number of households being linked up to the mains. Consumer groups have not taken the increases in public transport and tobacco lightly considering that there have been thousands of complaints about euro fuelled price hikes under the umbrella of price “rounding up” during the first two months of the year. Consumers in the Balearics are already braced for another expensive year with the cost of living expected to rise by over three per cent, way above the national and euro zone averages.


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