Government freezes gas prices for a second month
The price of gasoline at the pump will remain frozen for a second consecutive month in an effort to control the cost of living.
David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, confirmed the decision in a statement yesterday.
Mr Burt said the Government would maintain fuel prices at the February level even while global prices continue to rise. A government spokeswoman added that there will also be reductions to the customs duty on fuel imports.
According to the spokeswoman, Mr Burt and government technical officers met wholesale fuel company senior executives after February’s Budget to discuss challenges impacting fuel prices.
In January there was an increase of 1.7 per cent for gasoline and an increase of 3.2 per cent for diesel. In February the increases were 4.9 per cent for gasoline and 4.7 per cent for diesel, but prices have not gone up since.
The spokeswoman said: “Global fuel prices have recently been impacted by inflation due in part to current supply-chain issues and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The fuel companies themselves absorbed any losses in March. However, to continue to assist consumers and to ensure that safety and supply are not compromised, the Government followed through with its promise to reduce taxes on the importation of fuel.”
In response to questions, the spokeswoman said the energy companies had asked for a five per cent or 45 cents a gallon increase for gas and a 6.7 per cent or 54 cents a gallon increase for diesel in March.
They also asked for a 33 cent per gallon increase for gas and a 44 cent per gallon increase for diesel in April.
The spokeswoman said prices would instead remain at approximately $9 a gallon for gasoline and $8 a gallon for diesel.
She said: “There will be no reduction in the fuel rate charged to the public, prices will remain frozen at February’s price level. The anticipated reduction refers to tax charged on fuel imports which will be adjusted via the appropriate legislative process, however the freeze does not require legislative approval.
“This price freeze would mean consumers will not be subject to an increase of, on average, $4 when they fill their car with gas and $5 when they fill up with Diesel.”
Mr Burt will provide a further update regarding fuel prices later next week in the House of Assembly.
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