Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre says his administration has taken ‘decisive action’ to ensure that the costs of everyday items like retail cooking gas, petrol, and price-controlled goods do not escalate to the levels seen throughout the region.
In this regard, Pierre, also responsible for Finance, disclosed that the government had spent $9 million to subsidise cooking gas to date.
On his Facebook page, the Castries East MP observed that the move had presented ‘exorbitant price increases’.
Pierre explained that the subsidised 20 and 22-pound cooking gas cylinders cost $45.27 and $49.79, respectively.
“Without the subsidies by the government, the retail prices for the 20 and 22-pound cylinders of cooking gas would cost 72.90 and $80.18, respectively,” he explained.
In addition, he observed that the government had sacrificed more than $22 million in potential revenue collection on petroleum imports to keep retail fuel prices low.
According to Pierre, for the first time, during this fiscal year, for the period, July 4th – July 24th, 2022, importers of petroleum products had to be refunded $1 million to fully offset the negative excise tax incurred due to high imported prices.
“This was to allow for lower retail prices,” the Prime Minister stated.
In addition, Pierre noted that price-controlled goods are 6% cheaper due to the government’s decision to suspend the service charge amidst rising global inflation.
He said flour, rice, and sugar import costs have significantly increased on the international market, and the government has absorbed the increase of $9.8 million.
Pierre also pointed out that Government pensioners have each received a $500 direct deposit from the government to supplement and strengthen their spending power in the face of rising consumer prices.