ST. LUCIANS began paying less for fuel products from yesterday but a sampling of public reaction to the cut in prices appeared to be unfavourable, with many people expressing the view that prices here were still ”too high”.
Under the new rates, a gallon of gasolene has been reduced from $15.85 to $13.64 while the price of cooking gas comes down from $255.94 to $235.77 per 100 lb. cylinder.
But as far as many St Lucians are concerned the drop in prices is not significant enough. The bone of contention was that other OECS countries were still paying much less than St Lucia, even after yesterday’s slash in prices and many wanted to know why.
The reaction was more guarded in the transportation sector with the President of the National Council on Public Transportation Godfrey Ferdinand declining to respond when contacted by THE VOICE yesterday. He however promised to break his silence today,.
Ferdinand said: “I do not want to comment on the matter today, but tomorrow I will make a statement to the media”.
The reaction of the NCOPT is crucial, especially in light of ongoing agitation by a number of minibus associations island-wide for an increase in bus fares. However, not all the associations are in favour of a hike in bus fares, apparently aware of the impact this could have on the population.
According to the new rates announced yesterday, the price of diesel has come down from $15.14 to $13.21 a gallon, a saving of $1.93 a gallon.
Consumers will realize savings of $4.04 on a 20-pound tank of LPG and $4.43 on a tank of 22-pound LPG (cooking gas). The price of 100-pound LPG cylinders will be reduced by $20.17.
The government statement said despite the current economic conditions and increased pressure to reduce expenditure, it would continue to maintain the subsidies of $14.26 per 20-pound cylinder of LPG and $15.30 per 22-pound cylinder of LPG during this cycle.
The next fuel price adjustment is due on April 5, 2015 and will be determined by the landed cost of these products over the review period, the statement said.