Statement by Hon Dr Ernest Hilaire on Gas Prices

Statement by Hon Dr Ernest Hilaire on Gas Prices

PRESS RELEASE:-In 2012, shortly after assuming office, the SLP kept its election promise to reduce the excise tax on petrol to $2.50 per gallon.

As world prices fluctuated, the UWP whilst in opposition accused the SLP of hiding $6.80 in taxes on each gallon of petrol. With elections on the horizon, the UWP headed by Allen Chastenet held two marches against the “hidden tax” which they claimed was causing the price of petrol to be too high. (In response to the march SLP reduced the period of adjustment from three (3) months to three (3) weeks) Price mechanism did not change. They promised to reduce prices if elected.

Among the first pronouncements made by Prime Minister Chastanet upon assumption of office was that he “already signed” the SI reducing gas prices. That was a lie. The ‘so-called’ hidden tax was never removed and the pricing mechanism was never changed.

The Government hid the new tax in the estimates and it was only upon careful analysis the SLP Parliamentarians realised there was going to be an additional excise tax hidden there to be applied to petrol. Though raised by the SLP, the Prime Minister and his Minister in the Ministry of Finance refused to acknowledge this during the Debate on the Estimates.

During the Budget Debate it was explained that the $1.50 was to fix roads and would create a dedicated revenue stream. Whilst there is in the Estimates a line item reflecting the revenue collection there is no corresponding line item in expenditure to reflect the expenditure of such revenue. Of course you will recall that the Minister of Infrastructure did not speak in the Budget Debate and therefore explanation has been given to the people of Saint Lucia.

By delaying the passage of the budget, the Prime Minister has lost three (3) months or 25% of the money he claims would be allocated for roads. Further, by capping the price at $12.75 if the landed cost of gas is over $11.25, the new tax of $1.50 allocation will be reduced by whatever sum the landed cost exceeds $11.25. If the landed price is above $12.75, it means not only will the government get no tax but they will also have to use taxpayers money simply to keep the gas cap at $12.75. This raises certain questions – what is the basis of the cap and with who was this cap agreed to? If monies have been budgeted for road repairs based on the tax but there is a shortfall because of the cap, then how would roads repairs be financed?

In a piece prepared by Richard Peterkin, he states that the intentions announced in the Budget is to place the new revenue stream in a separate account rather than the consolidated fund but this will require amendments in the existing financial legislation and regulations to do so. It is very clear that any attempt to change our laws to allow Government to create separate accounts outside the consolidated fund to place taxpayer’s money will be strongly resisted by the Labour Party.

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12 Comments

  1. Announcer
    July 12, 2017 at 8:12 am Reply

    St.lucia times ,I didn’t read any news on you’ll site in reference to the emergency landing of Caribbean Airlines at Hewanora Airport in Vfort on sunday afternoon due to an engine fire.

  2. Anonymous
    July 12, 2017 at 8:21 am Reply

    Chastanet had the answers, is there a difference? Yes a BIG one too, THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORST. They now trying another gimmick with schools bags, this too will hurt the business sector (10,000 school bags). But I’m happy, I voted SLP. The hypocrisy of the UWP and their hacks, put it in your pipe and smoke it. There is more to come.

  3. Anonymous
    July 12, 2017 at 8:24 am Reply

    Hilaire please when youll can come and give all details about grynberg which is still costing us tax payer thousands of dollars just to retain lawyers I will start listening. Youll have no shame! At all…. i am not UWP but i hate the hyporcracy alll of youll just playing games… YOULL MAKE ME SICK …. ALLLLL

  4. Anonymous
    July 12, 2017 at 8:26 am Reply

    Hypocrisy on all sides … lucians need to realize jokers all over the place yon par voh lot… lets wise up… both sides there playing games

  5. Anonymous
    July 12, 2017 at 8:35 am Reply

    Thanks for informing the st.lucia populace about how our tax money is being used

  6. Anonymous
    July 12, 2017 at 8:39 am Reply

    Now youll can analyze everything analyze grynberg.. waiting with thanks sur hot

  7. Jacques Boucle
    July 12, 2017 at 8:53 am Reply

    The prime minister has a knowledge deficit. He is doing things out of political expediency and not thru reason and good judgment. When the leader has no vision the people perish.

  8. Anonymous
    July 12, 2017 at 10:43 am Reply

    Are all politicians rich?. Are they not in the same society? Why then are the people getting angry over persons we are best of friends?

  9. Vibz
    July 12, 2017 at 11:37 am Reply

    People, politicians generally are relentless liars. They have an adversarial relationship with the truth. In opposition, they have all the solutions to every conceivable problem of the country. In government, it becomes disappointingly obvious that the electors have been duped. We, the voters, become victims of their cruel lies and false promises. If you happen to protest about the lack of representation, you are rudely accosted by the party’s fanatical supporters, who are just parasites looking for an easy meal. Voting strictly for political parties and not for the caliber of individual candidates has done a huge disservice to the vast majority of citizens. Before we vote, let’s closely examine the character, experience, qualifications, charitable work , social interaction and attitude of the individual candidates. If a party in government performs creditable, reward them with a next term. If they fail to deliver on their promises and commitments , no second chance for them. Wise up people!

  10. Taking it all back
    July 17, 2017 at 9:19 am Reply

    Who’s interests do you think any saint Lucian politican have, the larger populace? If you think so grow up, it’s themselves and their campaign financiers. More needs to be done to empower the people

  11. sharon terrell
    July 17, 2017 at 10:45 am Reply

    You’ll this SLP know everything.But i believe in allowing a man to speak but,why should I allow or even give that man authority to speak when he keeps speaking ass.Now you’ll the SLP was there for fifteen years dear lird great God.Why you’ll did not have all the answers,why you’ll did not know it all.This great division among the people that rhe SLP have create amonf the people can never be cured.Isn’t it wise for when a party or a person have been dethroned to walk away with class,and intelligence.Everyday its Confusion,talk,propaganda,Roro,Melee.Please Earnest Hilaire just give people peace.Why is the SLP oppressing and Depressing the people.Why,Why.After 15 years we are still made to suffer,the people voted you’ll out please give us peace please.Choop

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