Opposition wants fuel waiver to continue as light bill concerns linger | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

Opposition spokesperson on Mining and Energy, Phillip Paulwell, wants the government to extend the concession recently granted to approximately 450,000 households across the island.

Paulwell is also calling on the government to keep the tax waiver that was given to electricity producers who use automotive diesel oil to generate electricity, which he believes, in addition to the 20 per cent concession, will benefit consumers.

According to Paulwell, several factors will result in the continuation of sharp increases in fuel prices, which will wipe out the benefit that the Jamaican people will get from the 20 per cent concession, which was to cushion the impact.

He said that householders are already feeling the impact of rising fuel prices, as there has been a noticeable increase in their last electricity bill.

“I am seeing bills more the 50 per cent in some instances, so I am very concerned that it is quite likely that this is going to continue in the near future,” Paulwell said in a media video release.

“I also want to point out, that there could be further increases at the end of this month, especially if the government does not continue a waiver that it had granted to electricity producers who use automotive diesel oil to generate electricity.

“Currently the tax on that would be $4.86 per litre. It has been waived but we have not been told of any extension of that waiver beyond the end of this month. So it is foreseeable that that will generate further price increases if the waiver isn’t granted and I urge the government to grant a further waiver,” he continued.

The government in March granted the 20 per cent concession for four months to benefit middle and lower-income earners and according to Paulwell, this is already being wiped out because of the constant increases in fuel prices.

“I believe we are going to be in this price increase era, this price of electricity being much higher than it was before, for some time,” Paulwell said.

“It is quite likely to surpass this financial year, so I am calling upon the government to extend the concession of 20 per cent, to those who use 200-kilowatt hours beyond the four-month period for the duration of this fiscal year so that the consumers can continue to benefit.

“Even though the concession is at 20 per cent it is not going to mean a lot for the consumers, because as we all know, with the increase of prices for electricity and transportation, this affects everything else in the society,” he stated.