Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Idiots' (PNM's) Dilema

'Improve water supply or maintain cheap gas?'
Govt's $2b dilemma
Source: Trinidad Express

Motorists could find themselves paying more for gasoline and diesel at the pump sometime in the not too distant future but Energy Minister Conrad Enill says they are already doing so out of their taxes anyway.

In an interview yesterday, Enill said the Government was in the early stages of examining the possibility of a reduction in the $2 billion a year State subsidy on gasoline and diesel which is paid for out of the taxes it collects.

He said the Government had no choice but to deliberate the matter given the record high price of oil that was now hovering at around US$90 a barrel. (Pull up dey selectah! You now bawl oil selling at a record high price and you saying that the Government can no longer pay for the subsidy on gasoline and diesel? Conrad Enill even more stupid than he looks! If the oil selling at record high prices, it would stand to reason that the Government was making more money and would therefore be able to subsidise a whole lot more than just fuel. These people take we for idiots or something? All they will be doing is making inflation higher than it already is if they take of the subsidy on transportation fuel. I'm sure you all remembered what happened when the PNM raised the price of transportation fuel. The price of basically all consumer items, including the price of food on the whole, went up, up, up! So what it is the PNM really trying to accomplish by doing this? Make the rich richer and the poor poorer (or dead) perhaps?)

"We are conducting a preliminary examination of the issue in relation to expenditure in other areas of the economy," Enill said.

"A subsidy simply says that instead of the people getting it in increased taxes, they are getting it in reduced fuel. They are paying for it (increased fuel cost)," Enill also said.

Enill's comments followed Trade and Industry Minister Keith Rowley statement in the Parliament last Friday that the time had come for the Government to reconsider the subsidy in light of record high global oil prices as it was buying oil at the international price to keep the State-owned refinery's operating at full capacity. (Ah yes, let the poor man suffer some more. Goverment making billions when they sell oil and gas so let the poor man suffer some more.)

The fuel subsidy has been the sole protection to drivers in Trinidad and Tobago from the negative effects of any fluctuations in the international oil markets.

In Trinidad and Tobago it now costs drivers TT$3 per litre to fill up the tank of a gasoline fuelled vehicle.

In nearby Barbados, the cost of filling up the tank of a gasoline vehicle is BDS$2.30 (TT$7.21) per litre. (Yeah man you keep quoting figures. You ever notice the PNM always quotes figures that make them look good? Why not quote the price of gasoline from a nation that produces oil and gas, eh Enill?)

Enill said the record high oil prices are forcing the Government to make some hard choices regarding the use of subsidies and gave the example of the ambitious restructuring plans for WASA which is projected to cost a total of US$2 billion (TT$12.5 billion).

Prime Minister Patrick Manning had said that his administration "had no option" but to review water rates given the $1 billion annual subsidy the State pays for the supply of water.

"The gas subsidy is now at $2 billion. The government now finds itself having to answer a particular question," Enill said.

"Is the $2 billion a year better provided to water supply for everybody or for cheap gas and continuing the situation where people can travel at a very low cost." (Well considering the fact that the high-density-PNM-supporter zone of Lavantille doesn't pay for water, lights, telephone or rent for that matter. The more logical choice would be to increase water rates, since this would have little or no effect on the PNM heartland.)

He said, however, said the issue was really one of economic policy that was being discussed within the Finance Ministry and he was only speaking from the standpoint of the energy side of the equation.

"Right now, we have an increase in oil prices and, therefore, the increase in oil prices is going to find itself in the finished product.

So the question is not about increases in prices, the question is about the use of the subsidy it is not about price increase. Prices are increasing, so the subsidy is increasing," Enill also said.

Well it seems that the PNM wants the already ready high rate of inflation to rise further and cause poor people in this country to suffer more than they already are. Now the poor PNMites don't have a problem with this because they are accustomed to living in sordid squalor and they have programmes such as CEPEP, URP and the PNM Smart-man Card, which they benefit from. And if these aren't sufficient, there is always some unsuspecting, working class citizen, ready and available to rob due to the lack of T&T having a working Police Service.

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