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Dec 12, 2018

PM Says Fuel Increase is Due to World Market Prices

In responding to Briceño’s concerns, PM Barrow attributed the fluctuating cost of fuel acquisition to prices on the international market, anticipating that the next shipment of fuel to Belize may see a decrease at the gas pump.  In respect of B.E.L.’s request for another rate increase, the prime minister says the Public Utilities Commission will decide on the matter after a thorough revision of the application.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The fact is that we all know that the biggest driver of price increases to the consumer is what happens on the world market, the acquisition cost of fuel which we have to import.  And when the Leader of the Opposition says what the acquisition cost is currently, he doesn’t say what it was a month ago or a couple of months ago.  When there are increases, when there have been increases over the past year, it is in consequence of the increase in acquisition costs.  The tax component of the fuel price formula has not changed over the financial year or the calendar year, it is the same.  Government has not increased its tax take.  So ultimately, it’s a matter over which we have no control.  The fact is, though, that given what you’ve said about where the acquisition cost currently is, I would expect that with the next shipment there is very likely to be a decrease.  The nationalized B.E.L., I think, has done extremely well and in terms of what they are talking about wanting an increase, well you know that it’s complicated.  They’re all sorts of pass through formulas, ingredients that must be taken into account.  But the bottom line is that B.E.L. can say anything it likes, B.E.L. can ask for anything it wants.  It is the Public Utilities Commission that will ultimately determine whether any prayed for increase can be granted.”

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