Response to Letter entitled “Antigua & Barbuda Delivers Largest Petrol Hike in the Region”

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Editor,

I wish to respond to the letter you carried March 25th  entitled “Antigua & Barbuda Delivers Largest Petrol Hike in the Region with No Relief for workers” by Hotel Worker.

The writer makes a false statement that government is doing nothing for workers and wrongly suggested that in Antigua & Barbuda alone that fuel  prices have  significantly increased.

The writer seems unaware that most of goverment’s  revenues goes to pay its workers. Public sector workers account for some 40 percent of A&B workforce.

Over the years some seventy percent of government revenues goes towards payroll. If this increase was not passed on, those government workers would be at risk of being paid late since the consumtiuon tax on fuel is one measure used to ensure payroll is met.

The governbment also continues to subsizdize the price of fuel for bus drivers and also fisher folks. Since we are on the topic of subdies, I wish to remind that the very hotel sector he works, is highly subsidized by government, with the core reason being to ensure that sector can provide and sustain jobs.

“Hotel Worker” seems ignorant to the fact that Barbados on March 6th raised the price of gas by by 14 cents per litre (see Adjustment In Petroleum Prices For March 2022 BY SHARON AUSTIN | MAR 6, 2022, gisbarbados.gov).

About a week later, their PM, during budget debate, essentially took back what was added on the 6th. They also added some taxes during that debate (eg sugar tax was doubled, Commercial enterprises now pay more for fuel, some working persons and corp will now be paying whats labeled a  pandemic tax)

Four days ago SLU raised fuel prices. Gas and Diesel  has gone from 13.95 to now 14.95, effective March 21 (see PM explains external shocks that caused rise in gas prices sharefil.g March 21, 2022 11:42 AM ET, Loopnews).

Their  PM points out that ordinarily the price would be 18.68 for diesel and 18.76 for gas, however government there decided to help by providing a subsidy. I must also remind that in SLU there is no minimum wage hence its not strange for persons to be paid less than 4.00 per hour (NB in Dominica its 4.00 per hour). There was a newspaper report early in 2020,  that a new “Minimum and Equal Wages Commission” would be established in three months, but there is no recent news on that body.

The writer should understand that even in A&B with the price of gas at 15.70, diesel at 15.50, the government continues to help lower the burden by highly subsidizing the price. Unlike the 4.00 per gallon that the government of SLU aims for (in normal times),  A&B is currently only collecting for Consumption tax: Gas 2.05 ; Diesel 63 cents (see included fuel price breakdown).

Must end by advising the writer that its best to take time to do proper research.

Regards

Cornel Hughes

 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. They only see one side of the equation in order to try and make their point. No one likes to pay a higher price for anything though it may be a rational move to charge same.

  2. thiefing govt,average barrel of crude in 2017 was $54 USD, $71 usd in 2018, $64 in 2019 and $42 usd for the barrel of crude oil but the price at the pump was fixed to $12.50ec /gallon nevetherless, no savings was passed to the consumer even when the price of the barrel is way below $70 usd. Now in the middle of a global pandemic you placed an hike of 25% one time on an old fuel stock with the excuse of russian invasion even when the crude went down below $100/barrel. over 2 years into a pandemic, high unemployment,high inflation,high cost of living, no stimulus from this shitty government after collecting $2B in CIP,you cant even pay workers,pensioners,shitty treasury dept that cant pay local contractors for months and years, and these greedy idiots cant wait for a next shipment to analyze and evaluate the fluctuations in crude prices before making some adjustment, so quick to throw double burden on the struggling population that never got any stimulus during this ongoing crisis.what is then the benefit of WIOC?why the consumption tax on gas is 3x that of diesel?usually the diesel suppose to be rather a few cents higher due to the weight of the commercial vehicles,the wear and tear exerted on the road infrastructure. a caring govt will lower the consumption tax inmediately in a critical time like this, we cant even buy food.go to hell grabston browne labour party.

    • Guy with the price of oil at 60 per barrel, how much do you think it should cost locally? You forget that its not only oil in the price, there is refining costs, transportation costs. The most government ever collected in fuel consumption tax was about 5.50 per gallon, and this was during the time when oil was at its lowest. In Saint Lucia during that period (2020): GASOLINE increased from $2.53 to $2.63 per litre or $11.50 to $11.95 per gallon.Diesel increased from $2.30 to $2.35 per litre or $10.44 to $10.68 per gallon (see Fuel price adjustments Monday, July 20, 2020 by Ministry of Commerce, govslu)

      Safety net programs were in place(moratoriums on rent payment, utility payments, increased subsidies for farmers, food baskets, vouchers provided to those in need) CIP has not collection 2 billion. You need only visit the CIP website to see the 6 monthly reports. On average they have made some 100 million a year beginning in 2015, that’s around 700 million, not 2 billion.

  3. These board members and chairmen who sit on statutory boards really cannot remain independent because they get a luxury that the poor and indegent , intelligent persons are deprived of
    $5000 extra to support his master

  4. Subsidizing in this sense only means to allocate the revenue loss from one item and recover it on another product. The way tax works even if it is levied from the main product there’s still a by product of consumption calculated which can be recovered from its self by sale. It don’t matter how low u go making it seem cheaper that ur lowering the rate u take. Ur only showing numbers

    Ur formulas are calculated using percentages which clearly u left out in your proof to show that it’s good ur doing. Showing the number alone does nothing

    Tax is percentages!!!

    If u have been absolving money for years at $12.50 when it was lower BECAUSE u wanted a higher overhead to recover financial loss

    Where all that extra money allocated to?

    Planes been flying for sooo many years and during Covid the complain loss in billions
    Covid is only 2 years
    Sooo all them years without Covid all them other billions from years before

    All that money gone where?

    Where’s that?

    Millions of companies in the world with millions and billions of dollars collectively and all them broke all a sudden?

    Exactly so if u charge someone $5 more than usual for your own benefit why not keep that margin?

    Proud of you for posting this article tho cuz I would do the same thing once u remember Antigua ppl can’t count or read so logically pushing paper in front them eyes fu shut them up is the fastest route I would take too lmaooo anything fu shut them up and keep rob dem

    Tax is percentages

  5. Writer you need to know that the previous writer of the article had a purpose. And he or she was given the stage to fulfill that purpose. It is to spread lies and innuendos unchallenged to a wide section of the public. he/she didn’t need or didn’t want to do any investigation to spread the truth. That is why I do not respond to letters such as these. They are coming very fast lately and yes the website will claim that it’s freedom of speech and that, just like you anyone has the option to counter that. For those who really want to be educated on the issue they can read comments like mine. Non-political. Just the facts. As I explained, Antiguans and Barbudans live for most of the time worried free. The never have to worry about oil prices at the pump. It happens every so often that an adjustment is needed. Whether upwards or downwards. The same way we do not worry about our foreign exchange reserve. We sit in the comfort of our home and buy goods online in any currency all over the world. Delivered right to our doorstep. Not many citizens from other Islands right here in the Caribbean can boost that. Just ask Trinidadians, Guyanese or Surinamese. We have been pegged to the USA Dollar now for decades. No one wonders how this is possible and how it is working. But that is fine. Less stress for the average men/women on the street. Not many can remember that some years ago if you wanted to buy US Dollars you needed to go to the ministry of Finance for approval. Or you could buy US Dollars on the street, mainly from the taxi drivers.
    I like our system and would not change it for nothing. An increase once every now and then is OK with me. I wouldn’t mind more transparency if possible. Some people want to see how much profit WIOC is making, but they should remember WIOC is not completely a State-Owned Corporation. We therefore have no right to publish their Financials without the other shareholders consent.

  6. Sidelines and Tenman Cornel Hughes: Seeing that both of you are Gaston Browne’s insiders. Could you tell me and the rest of the World. If Maria Browne,as a Cabinet Minister,is on WEST INDIES OIL BOARD.We the people have a right to know.There is something known as Insider Information of which she would be privy to,as a Minister in Cabinet.

    • What is insider information. Do you really have any idea what you are talking about or you just want to run your mouth…smh

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