With the recent increases in the value of petroleum products, the Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) has increased its subsidy on 20lbs cylinders of cooking gas from $16.13 to $22.10 per cylinder, a rise of 37%. This has allowed a 20lbs cylinder of cooking gas to be sold for a bit under $40, at $39.81. Users of 100lbs cylinders are, nevertheless, unable to enjoy an identical subsidy because they’re deemed to be in the next income bracket and, subsequently, more prone to afford the unadjusted market price.
In line with information coming from the retail marketplace for cooking gas, this subsidy is prone to cost the GOSL a bit over $1million per 30 days.
Nevertheless, the situation is a bit different with gasoline and diesel, each attracting an excise tax of 80 cents and 88 cents per gallon respectively for the reason that last fuel price adjustment, which took place on Monday eleventh April. The overall excise tax expected to be collected from the 2 products matches the subsidy provided for cooking gas, at just over $1 million, leaving the federal government with no tax revenue to gather from petroleum products.
With the excise tax on petroleum products being a major revenue stream for the federal government, it’s unlikely that this policy can be sustained for very long. Within the circumstances, with consumers buckling under the pressure of rising food prices and fuel, it might just be an inexpensive policy to adopt for now.