PM Says He Didn’t Expect Fuel Surcharge to Become a Problem as Quickly as it Has

Fuel surcharge was implemented in 2006 and subsequently removed in 2009.

During the Tuesday 13th April, 2011 edition of his radio programme, “Ask the Prime Minister”, a caller questioned the Prime Minister about a bill which she received for 2011. She explained that in the last Budget address, the federation was not told of the reintroduction of the fuel surcharge, but was informed of the increase in electricity rates.

She asked the Prime Minister’s help is shedding some light on the issue noting that a charge for fuel surcharge appeared on her bill.

In response to the query, Prime Minister Douglas explained that in delivering the St. Kitts Nevis 2011 Budget Address, it was indicated that “the surcharge was going to be started at zero, it was going to be set at zero. Infact, if you were to look very closely at our expected revenue for this fiscal year, the surcharge is there but there was nothing expected to be recovered from the surcharge simply because we believe that if we started out with the new rates having debased the old rates, there was no need for surcharge to be imposed.”

Dr. Douglas further explained that the indication was, “if the prices began to seriously fluctuate again, then the surcharge would pick up some of the increases in those prices for fuel. And so we began the new fiscal year with the rebased rates but with a surcharge of zero.”

However, the country’s leader expressed that some thought would have to be given ways of bringing relief to consumers as it relates to the fuel surcharge.

“…having looked at the continuing increases in the prices of fuel, we would have to begin to look seriously again at how we can bring some relief especially with regard to the surcharge because we didn’t expect that the surcharge would become a problem as quickly as it is appearing to be in this time of the fiscal year. But, as I said, we did indicate in the budget…I made it absolutely clear that the surcharge is being fixed at zero.”

 

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