The latest increases in the price of gasoline diesel and cooking gas have still left the GOSL in a net position of subsidizing petroleum products.
Today, Monday 21st, the price of gas and diesel went up by $1.00 per gallon to $14.95 per gallon, while cooking gas went up to $35.46, $39.01 and $266.43 for 20lbs, 22lbs and 100lbs cylinders respectively.
Out of the $1.00 increase per gallon on gas and diesel, the GOSL is only able to collect a meager fuel excise tax of 27 cents per gallon on gas and 19 cents per gallon on diesel.
The total fuel excise tax expected to be collected from these new rates falls well short of the amount necessary to subsidize cooking gas. In other words, the government will still be out of pocket before the next price adjustment in three weeks and will therefore have to find new money to support the subsidies.
There is a good chance, given the case made by the prime minister for the desperate need for funds, that the price of petroleum products will be going up further in the next round of price adjustments.
Saint Lucians should brace themselves for higher gasoline, diesel and cooking gas prices and start the process of adjustments in their consumption of petroleum products.
The longer this situation persists the more pressure there will be for the price of other goods and services to go up. Already, supermarket prices are bearing witness to this.