As consumers today begin to feel the effects of the latest increase in gas prices, the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) is suggesting that the government could have done more to stabilise prices at the pumps.
ALP Chairman Gaston Browne has suggested that the Baldwin Spencer administration could even forego its intake of consumption tax on petrol for at least a month, to ease the burden on consumers.
In an interview with The Daily OBSERVER yesterday, Browne described the hike as “extremely untimely.”
The new prices – $16.45 per gallon for gasoline and $15.75 per gallon for diesel – went into effect at the pumps just about two months after the last rise.
“The increase is just too rapid, too soon … government ought to go the extra mile to some extent, not to have the substantial increases that we would have had,” Browne said.
“If the government, for instance, had to eliminate their tax intake for a month or two just in order to stabilise prices and make sure that there is no further damage to the economy, it would serve us better than them trying to literally eke out another $2 million or $3 million in revenue from an already bad situation.”
Browne contended that the increased gasoline and diesel costs will have a very harmful effect on national productivity.
He said the government should therefore “do whatever it has to do to in order to ensure that there’s no further deterioration in our economic performance.”
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)