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Gas prices up

Gas prices up

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Vincentians began paying more at the pumps from last Monday, May 14, following the announcement by Acting Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker of a $1.75 hike in the price of gasoline -taking it to $11.50 per gallon.

Speaking at a press conference last Friday May 11, Sir Louis said that while government did not want to create any unnecessary hardship for citizens, the Government had no choice but to increase the price.{{more}}

“The price of gasoline has been going up recently, tremendously, to the extent that we have been subsidizing gasoline to the tune of $2.40 per gallon,” Sir Louis said.

He said that the subsidy was costing the government EC$1.1 million per month, a situation he said that the government could not afford to go forward with.

Sir Louis said that in order to cushion the impact on the traveling public, there would be no increase in the price of diesel, the fuel that 90 percent of the public transportation vehicles use.

The current price of diesel is $8.75 per gallon.

Sir Louis noted that the Government will still be losing 65 cents on every gallon of gasoline, but they will continue to subsidize the price of diesel.

He further noted that although only 10 percent of the public transportation vehicles operate on gasoline, Government would reactivate the controversial gasoline subsidy so that public transportation prices would not increase.

Under this subsidy, operators will be paid $2 per gallon of gas up to 220 gallons per month to make up for the increased price at the pumps.

The subsidy, which van operators can claim monthly, also allows for a reimbursement of 40cents per gallon of diesel up to 286 gallons per month. However this aspect will not be reactivated seeing that diesel prices have not increased.

Gasoline prices were raised last year August to the same $11.50 per gallon, but were reduced to the current rate of $9.75 on January 1 this year.(KJ)

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