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    December 16

  • 02:13 PM

ON POINT: Regional heads must tackle gas pain

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 17 November 2018

bloc-carol-on-point

Gas prices are on everyone’s lips these days.

Well, perhaps it is more accurate to say, now more than before.

With the cost of living still going up and consumers getting no ease in the price of groceries in supermarkets, even though the National Social Responsibility Levy has come off, people are also focused on the money they spend at the pump.

Just this week, it was reported that Barbados ranks third highest in an updated price list of the world’s most expensive gasoline. This according to globalpetrolprices.com, the online database that tracks energy prices from 150 countries.

This should not come as a surprise to motorists who find themselves at gas stations more than they used to, or certainly spending more than they are accustomed.

I have realised that in recent times, given the increases in gas prices, my $100 does not take me where it once did in terms of my gas gauge.

The last time gas prices increased was November 4, when they went up by two cents per litre. Barbadians now pay $3.91 per litre.

No wonder some people are crying out. When the SUNDAY SUN carried out an unscientific poll asking Barbadians to rank the issues which most affected them, of the overall 724 respondents, 709 indicated that the cost of living topped the list.

That was followed by the economy, crime, transportation, state of the roads, garbage collection and health care.

According to another table published by globalpetrol prices.com, it was interesting to note that gas prices in Barbados from August 6 to 27, 2018, averaged about $3.88, after which it went up to $3.91 in September. It held there until October 1, after which it averaged $3.89 until October 29. For November 5 and November 12 the price at the pump was $3.91.

One of my colleagues who works in another Caribbean territory, who closely follows the NATION online, wrote me on Tuesday after seeing the article on gas prices published the same day, noting that fuel prices in the northern Caribbean countries like Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and even some in the Eastern Caribbean, were higher than in Barbados.

In fact, my fellow journalist said gas in the Turks and Caicos was close to US$6 per gallon, while in The Bahamas it was about US$5 per gallon, with Cayman Islands averaging about the same.

Perhaps the issue of escalating gas prices is one that should be tackled regionally as our Heads of Government sit to discuss matters affecting our countries. It’s time our leaders put their pedal to their metal. (CM)

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