Government is sticking to its decision to keep the gasoline price from going beyond EC$12.75 per gallon, at least till the end of 2017.
This means that the United Workers Party (UWP) administration will continue to absorb the cost of fuel once it goes above the $12.75 threshold.
Petroleum products have steadily increased in price for the last several months. In May, government announced that as part of its structuring policy to limit the number of loans taken to repair and rehabilitate roads, it was instituting a new tax, an extra $1.50 to be paid on fuel.
Government had indicated that this price cap policy would be sustained in the short to medium term.
Acting Prime Minister Guy Joseph said, “We’re not playing games with this. I know I signed the documents on Friday for the price of fuel, the changes, and I know that the government intake is reduced but we are keeping the price at the rate that we said,” he told reporters.
“Based on the financial situation and if it comes to that, we will come back to the public and we will say look here, ‘in light of the circumstances, this is what has to happen’ but as it stands now, even if the government intake is lower, we have stick to what we have promised the people of St. Lucia,” he stated.
The price of other petroleum products has seen steady increases since the excise on fuel took effect.
Joseph said he is not certain how events will unfold for the new year regarding the fuel price cap.
“Every 21 days the price changes so we have sufficient time to be able to review and I don’t see in any event, that the government would increase any price beyond the $12.75 during this year, especially going into the Christmas season. I cannot see us adjusting the price to go beyond what we promised,” he said.
“As to what is going to happen in the new year and for the new financial year for the budget, that is something different. But as it stands now we have stuck to what we said we were going to do,” he added.