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Will Sudden Increase in Fuel Prices Affect Cost of Importation?

Sep 5, 2023

Will Sudden Increase in Fuel Prices Affect Cost of Importation?

Shyne Barrow

The cost of fuel went up again last week, amid the oppressive inflation that is affecting Belizean consumers.  But is the sudden hike in the price per gallon of fuel directly and adversely affecting the cost of goods and services?  That’s what we asked Opposition Leader Shyne Barrow when he appeared this morning on Open Your Eyes.  Here’s how he responded.

Isani Cayetano

“Do you believe that the situation is, perhaps, exacerbated by the fact that there was a recent hike in the cost of fuel at the pumps?  Because normally, when the price of fuel goes up, people will say well, the cost of importation is directly pegged to that and then the consumer has to be the one to absorb that increase.  So we‘re looking at a situation where the government has put certain things or systems in place to be able to deal with price gouging and the overall inflation matter.  But on the other hand, quietly raise the cost of fuel.  Do you believe that that makes the problem worse?”

Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“Energy is the genesis of all of our problems when it comes to these high gas prices, the highest ever, historically in Belize and this is merely a way for the government to pay its bills, straight up, no cap.  They‘re just using the cost of fuel to pay  bills when what they promised was the exact opposite and I gave the solution in the House of Representatives, I presented the solution on one of the other morning shows recently, and it goes again to point of purchase.  Puma or whoever the entity is that the government, that all fuel entities buy from, they are allowed to just give an invoice.  I think they call it spot market.  They purchase and they just give you an invoice.  Their invoice does not reflect the market, so when it goes up, it goes down, it doesn‘t matter, just give us an invoice.  So I believe that arrangement needs to be amended and negotiated because the prices have fallen dramatically in the region and globally.  You can no longer use the war in Ukraine as a reason for high fuel prices because the prices in the United States, the prices in different countries they have fallen dramatically.”