Gas, hot air or indigestion?

First Published: 2004-05-29

Dear Editor:

Re: Gas, hot air or indigestion?

Perhaps someone in the public domain can clear up my confusion over the rising costs of fuel in the Bahamas. (Not the global, I understand that).

Is it or is it not the Minister for Trade and Industry that approves any increase in fuel prices? And doesn't his Ministry control gasoline prices? (Price controlled really meaning profit controlled!) Yet this Minister wants us, the Bahamian people, to believe that the suppliers and retailers of gasoline are the greatest profit gougers.

You know who really makes the most money from gas? OUR GOVERNMENT!

Here's the breakdown per gallon:

First cost landed: 1.32

Government tax per gallon: 1.25

Maximum mark-up wholesale: 0.40

Maximum mark-up retail: 0.30

Total price per gallon: 3.30

The promises made by this Minister a few months ago to reduce fuel prices fly directly in the face of global market forces, which no government can control. Production down, demand up, price up! And still rising.

When he said he would ensure that gas prices would come down I thought he was going to reduce the TARRIFFS to cut we the people a break! At least that he can accomplish.

In my opinion either this Minister is incompetent or he thinks we the people are! We the Bahamian people must stop letting our politicians make erroneous and misleading statements that end up being believed because they stand unchallenged! We hold the stick, but we keep giving it to them so they can beat us with it!

I think this same Minister with his marketplace noise is trying to divert attention from a Bill that just passed in the House of assembly that should strike fear into the hearts of the Bahamian people and Bahamian business owners. It is called the Standards Act, and I implore all Bahamians who care about their future, to read this thing and understand it for what it really is. More control, more restrictions, more taxes and the ability to victimize Bahamians beyond belief.

Thank you for the space.

Christopher D. Lowe

Businessman

Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas

May 21, 2004.

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