Home Business Government of St Lucia prides gas subsidies, gurus remain petulant

Government of St Lucia prides gas subsidies, gurus remain petulant

1
265

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia, (CNG Business) – According to the government of St Lucia fuel price adjustments for January 1, 2024, “ XCD8.10 million was allocated for cooking gas subsidies that resulted in 30 percent cost savings for consumers.

The bigger representation should be; is there a domestic and regional plan for rising gas prices, while the so-called gas gurus remain petulant, a far cry from their fireball, while in opposition?

The budget speech for 2023, said: “The government in 2022 forgone approximately $40 million by subsidizing LPG (cooking gas) under the modified passthrough mechanism.” The budget speech noted: “Despite our best efforts to cushion the rising imported cost of petroleum products, through lower excise taxes, the retail price of fuel ranged from $13.95 to $17.95 per gallon in 2022.”

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), January 3, 2023, notes:

“In 2023, the government of Saint Lucia, led by prime minister Philip J. Pierre, paid an average of $15.05 for every 20lbs cylinder of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) for every consumer. And, every time you bought a 22lbs LPG cylinder, the government contributed an average of $16.55 towards the retail price.”

The OPM continued:

“For the period April 1 – December 2023, the government is projected to spend $8.10 million on subsidies for LPG. These elevated subsidy rates have successfully kept the retail prices of the 20lbs and 22lbs LPG cylinders affordable for the average Saint Lucian household and averted exorbitant price hikes.”

The politics of gas prices

“If our government was to adopt the $4.00 per gallon excise taxes as budgeted by the UWP at current prices, the price of gasoline would be $18.68 and diesel $18.76 per gallon,” the economic minister further explained. ~ March 21, 2022 – Recent international developments and fuel price adjustments

In a press statement on January 3, 2023, The United Workers Party (UWP) expresses its deep concern and strong objection to the first policy decision by prime minister Pierre for 2024, which disappointingly involves maintaining gas prices in Saint Lucia at among the highest levels within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The UWP noted that “other Caribbean islands with much smaller economies and the shared challenges of the rising cost of living and economic uncertainty are taking proactive steps to lower fuel prices, making the decision to maintain exorbitant prices even more unjustifiable and detrimental to the people of Saint Lucia.”

Comparatively, the UWP said: “In Dominica, a gallon of gas costs EC $13.91 and in Saint Kitts & Nevis it is priced at EC $13.33. However, the citizens of Saint Lucia are burdened with the staggering cost of EC $16.50 per gallon, creating an unacceptable disparity that the UWP believes needs immediate attention.”

The ministry of commerce, fuel price adjustment January 1, 2024, announced:

“In keeping with changes in international oil prices and government’s application of the modified market pass-through petroleum pricing mechanism, the retail price of the LPG 100 lb cylinder and Bulk (Wholesale) LPG has changed. The retail price of Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene, the LPG 20 lb and 22 lb cylinders remains unchanged.”

  • Gasoline remains unchanged at $3.63 per litre or $16.50 per gallon.
  • Diesel remains unchanged at $3.63 per litre or $16.50 per gallon.
  • Kerosene remains unchanged at $2.58 per litre or $11.72 per gallon.

The 20 lb Cylinder (9.07kg) is being subsidized at $16.64 per cylinder and the 22 lb cylinder (9.98kg) is being subsidized at $18.31 per cylinder.

  • 20 Pound Cylinder (9.07 kg) remains unchanged at $39.30 per cylinder.
  • 22 Pound Cylinder (9.98 kg) remains unchanged at $43.22 per cylinder.
  • 100 Pound Cylinder (45.36kg) decreased from $288.43 to $279.68 per cylinder.
  • Bulk (Wholesale) LPG decreased from $2.75 per pound to $2.67 per pound.

The next adjustment of the retail price of fuel products will be on Monday, January 22, 2024.

Recent international developments and fuel price adjustments

Understanding the policy of gas prices in Saint Lucia compared to other islands in the OECS is enigmatic. However, based on known computation, advice and accessibility, Saint Lucia would have been better off “capping the price of gas” and directing a better economic policy than what currently obtains.

The government contends that it has continued to apply the modified market pass-through mechanism in its pricing of petroleum products, however, the economic and political question is ever-present: “When will Saint Lucia realize a reduction in fuel prices? From ECD13.95 to 16.50?”

Best efforts to cushion the rising imported cost of petroleum products have likewise not addressed the downside economic risks and challenges and the basis to maintain economic stability.

St Lucia increases gasoline and diesel prices to sensible levels

The current reality of economic welfare and economic well-being to make economic choices feel a sense of security, satisfaction, and personal fulfilment and employment pursuits lacks optimism in economic justice.

Prioritizing the interests of the people of Saint Lucia and the OECS on gas and fuel prices is a bigger undertaking that individual islands are hopeless at resolving.

Should the current policy of subsidy alongside the downside economic risks and challenges that confront Saint Lucia, it is appropriate as stated, that, “ … the real picture of the government’s assistance in shielding consumers from the high imported cost of fuel, which is contrary to the misinformation peddled by those who have made misinformation their staple for communicating with the public.

The palatable of lifelong learning virtues and so-called gas gurus remaining petulant and docile amid crisis – while experiencing a fulfilling life is extraordinary.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here