The politics of gas continues unabated.
The opposition United Workers Party is moving ahead with plans for a protest march next Thursday against the recently announced rates by the government, among a number of other issues.
There have been calls from various quarters for additional cuts in fuel prices following those announced by the government on January 12. This may have prompted a statement Thursday by Prime Minister Kenny Anthony that the prices of petroleum products will be further reduced when the next adjustments are made
Anthony indicated that the only outstanding question was the timing of the adjustments. He also indicated that government was looking into whether it should maintain the three-month adjustment period or reduce it to eight or even six weeks.
The UWP has been calling on the government to revert to monthly adjustments.
This afternoon, the UWP issued a statement accusing Anthony of continuing to utilize his PR machinery in attempt to pacify the wrath of Saint Lucians over his “act of economic criminality”, when on January 12 he“short-changed consumers by offering a fuel price adjustment which fell way below expectations”.
Said the UWP: “ In the Press Statement issued today the Prime Minister is seeking to assure Saint Lucians that they will realize further reductions in the price of gasoline and diesel at the next due date for adjustment, which is due in April 2015 (ten weeks from now).
“It should be made categorically clear to Prime Minister Anthony that Saint Lucians understand and expect that if the price of crude oil on the international market continues to drop, it is inevitable that the price of fuel at the pump should drop to reflect the continuing decline globally. It is for this reason that Saint Lucians remain angered over the unrealistic adjustment announced on January 12 of this year.
“Prime Minister Anthony would do better to answer the following questions which occupy the minds of all consumers at this time: – What level of discount is his Government willing to grant Saint Lucians in the face of the downward trend in fuel prices on the global market? – Will his Government continue to shove unrealistic adjustments down the throats of the consumers? – Why the hesitation on the part of the Government to move from a three (3) month pass through mechanism to a one (1) month pass through mechanism, so that consumers can enjoy the savings immediately given the trend globally.
“We call on Prime Minister Anthony and his Government to move with due haste to pass on the savings from the fall in fuel prices to consumers now, and not at the end of April. The adjustment in fuel prices at this time is vital so that he can bring immediate relief to consumers. Fuel prices need to be adjusted to more realistic levels as obtains in neighboring Caribbean territories. This is not the time for ‘saving face’ PR stunts and desperate politicking. What Saint Lucians want is definitive action now so that they can gain relief from the current economic strangle-hold of ‘Kennynomics’. Enough is Enough”.