The Slovak economy ministry has proposed doubling the subsidy given to car owners who scrap old vehicles and buy new ones, potentially adding EUR33.2m to the scheme.

Germany also plans to extend its own scheme, adding EUR1bn to a fund expected to run out mid-April. The EUR2,500 incentive to swap old cars helped boost new car sales 21% last month.

The Slovak cabinet earlier this month a EUR33m (US$44.98m) plan under which the state would pay up to EUR1,500 to owners who scrap their cars older than 10 years and buy new vehicles. The government adjourned the debate on the proposed increase on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

“We asked for time to assess this measure,” deputy finance minister Peter Kazimir said. His ministry wants to meet officials from the automotive industry and car dealers.

Economy minister Lubomir Jahnatek told the news agency benefits from the subsidy exceeded the costs because of increased collection of the value added tax.