FNM deputy calls on govt to cut taxes on fuel

Free National Movement Deputy Leader Shanendon Cartwright yesterday called on the government to reduce taxes on fuel as the price of gas continues to rise.

“Bahamians need relief at the pump and this so-called government who promised a new day must give tax relief and they must do so today,” Cartwright said in a statement yesterday.

“As gas prices continue to skyrocket and economic pressures continue to mount on the Bahamian economy, particularly on the pockets of struggling Bahamians, the government continues to play bystander and has taken a hands-off approach as the fuel crisis engulfs Bahamian motorists.”

Cartwright said the government has offered “more rhetoric than relief” for the situation.

He said it should act now and reduce the taxes it receives to alleviate the burden at the pump for Bahamians.

“The government enjoys the benefit of stamp tax and VAT (value-added tax) on wholesale and retail purchases of fuel,” Cartwright said.

“It can and must act to bring relief to the Bahamian people and they can start by reducing taxes on fuel now.”

As of yesterday, gas prices in New Providence were $6.97 at Shell, $6.98 at Rubis and $7.39 at Esso.

At the start of the year, gas prices were a little over $5.

Gas station operators, who threatened to strike in April, have maintained that they are not benefiting from the rising prices at the pump.

For example, when gas was priced at $6.16, the gas station operators received 54 cents and the petroleum wholesalers received 34 cents.

The landed cost of the gas before VAT was $3.56, and $1.72 went to duties and taxes.

Gas station operators continue to call on the government to intervene, noting that the situation has reached crisis level for them.

Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis has indicated that the government does not intend to increase the margin for gas station operators.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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