Dominican citizens advised to manage their consumption, as another fuel price increase looms

As the probability of yet another fuel price increase looms on the horizon, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is urging citizens to manage their consumption of fuel resources in light of the anticipated cost surge.

The sentiment follows a statement from Director of Trade Mathan Walter earlier this week, during which he indicated that another price increase for the year might be imminent. Walter explained that predictions suggesting that the current barrel price which hovers just above $85USD, could escalate to as much as $100USD by the close of 2023.

He said the most recent data from the Ministry of Trade’s three-week regulatory cycle indicated a widespread escalation in petroleum product costs.

Walter explained that a combination of factors such as the reopening of China’s economy post-COVID-19 and the curtailed production by Saudi Arabia and Russia, which has resulted in a scarcity of petroleum products, contributes to the increase.

He noted that this is further compounded by the imposition of restrictions and disincentives on petroleum production in the United States.

Walter pointed out that in August, there was an uptick in US interest rates, reaching 5.25%, the highest rate since the economic downturn of 2008.

Walter acknowledging that the current situation did not represent a peak in oil prices, citing the 2008 price spike to $143 per barrel and encouraged citizens to adopt certain lifestyle adjustments.

This sentiment was echoed by Prime Minister Skerrit at Wednesday’s press conference.

Addressing concerns about mitigating the impact of elevated gas prices, Skerrit referenced back to when he resisted a price increase at the request of fuel suppliers, leading some to threaten protest actions.

“There are some who wanted to protest against me for that. And say you should give them what they want, otherwise, I wouldn’t have to be in long lines,” he stated. “Dominicans were saying that I would rather pay the market price than sit in their vehicles in the long lines waiting for petroleum products.”

According to Skerrit, “At the time I was trying to protect consumers of petroleum products and people were upset with me, people cursing me, including my supporters and my wonderful supporters. So the reality is we have to pay what the market is offering.”

He underscored the financial complexities he faces as Prime Minister, likening it to managing finances within a family setting where allocations must be adjusted to accommodate unexpected expenses.

Skerrit acknowledged the desire for subsidies but outlined the fiscal reality that necessitates fuel price adjustments. He revealed that, in the past, a significant portion of funds that could have been directed towards initiatives such as paying the debt owed by the students studying overseas were being used to subsidize fuel importers.

“When the price went up, we were paying a significant amount of money to the importers per gallon for every person in the country who was using it. We were giving the importers a check every month each based on the consumption of Dominican,” he said,

“So I am not in a position to say that we’re going to be subsidizing the prices. We have to manage our consumption,” the head of government declared.

Regarding inflation due to imports, Skerrit debunked the notion that taxes were the primary culprits. He cited the global trend of increased prices upon arrival in the country and stressed the necessity of taxes for government revenue collection.

“It’s always better for the government to collect the revenues by way of taxes so that we can use this money to provide improved and better services. Because even if we in government were to subsidize it means therefore that we are losing revenue but our expenditure increases,” he explained.

Effective August 28, 2023, the Ministry of Trade and Energy released information regarding the revised fuel prices. Gasoline’s wholesale price stands at $16.37 per gallon, while the retail price is set at $17.07 per gallon. High Sulphur Diesel (HSD) now retails at $13.92 per gallon wholesale and $14.57 per gallon retail. Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) is available at $14.79 per gallon wholesale and $15.44 per gallon retail. Kerosene now costs $12.50 per gallon wholesale and $12.98 per gallon retail.

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  1. Taniya
    September 5, 2023

    It would not affect you and your gas guzzlers since the state no doubt has to pay for your fuel cost. By the way have you stopped now claiming rent from the state coffers for the place you live in? There are more and more rumours now that you actually own the place via a letterbox company. Is it true?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0
  2. Ibo France
    September 4, 2023

    Dominica got $270 000 000 millions with the Petro-Caribe debt forgiveness, yet, the poorest of the poor Dominican received zero benefits although this arrangement was specifically put in place to bring relief to the most vulnerable. What heartlessness!

    Here we go again. The poor must take it on the chin with prices of fuel gone insane. All this is happening while Roosevelt,wife and his US born children, sit in his Ivory Tower on the hilltop enjoying their champagne lifestyle.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0
  3. Bwa-Banday
    September 2, 2023

    Boy that cabal landing wood on the populace like tower. And, they taking it like grown men without wincing or groaning. What happen to the Alba and Petro Caribe deals? Is the Starboy Of Stupidity going to ground all government vehicles that run around all day, every day playing taxi and jabal transporters? I am sure that would result in tremendous cost savings that can be used to subsidize fuel. Wesstay la!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0
  4. Truth Be Told
    September 1, 2023

    ALBA, what happened to the Venezuela ALBA alliance and fuel discount for ALBA countries? Is that dead?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0
    September 1, 2023

    dominicans is that allu wanted so take allu blothes

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0
  6. LifeandDeath
    September 1, 2023

    Whatever happened to Petro Caribe and alleviating the cost of fuel? Dominicans forget so quickly
    They lie day and night, it only seems we listen in the afternoons when nobody has nothing meaningful to say.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0
    • Accountant
      September 7, 2023

      Skerrit, Austrie and the now Minister for Tourism hijacked that years ago. Remember Venezuela lamenting having to write of 100 million US$ of Dominicas debts. IUp until today no explanation, no comment, no denial. Begs the question where the 100 million went to. Your guess is as good as mine.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

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