St. Lucians seeking answers to high fuel prices

ST. LUCIA St. Lucia’s Transport Minister, The Honourable Guy Joseph has responded to calls to decrease fuel prices locally as global fuel prices are seemingly on a downward trend.

On the issue of implementing a pass through mechanism on fuel prices in Saint Lucia, the minister said the bigger picture needs to be carefully examined.

“When the price of oil goes down, everybody is crying let’s bring it down, but when it goes up, as it went to $146 per barrel; how would we justify selling a gallon of fuel for eighteen or twenty dollars to the people? How does it work out for the people we are concerned about the poor and the vulnerable in this society?”

The Transport Minister said government’s subsidies on fuel and bus fares are maintained because of a consciousness of the realities of all classes within the society.

Before implementing a pass through mechanism, Joseph said, serious considerations need to be made on the extent of its effect on various sectors.

“If we were to remove the subsidy on fuel, and implement the pass through mechanism, the cost of transportation between Castries and Vieux Fort could move from $7 today to $9 tomorrow based on the fickle nature of global market prices.”

He noted that while fuel prices in Saint Lucia have remained at twelve dollars and seventy five cents ($12.75) per gallon since the beginning of the year, other islands have increased their prices to over eighteen dollars ($18.00). Anguilla and Saint Kitts were cited as examples.

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