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Stop Playing Gimmicks with the Gas!

FeaturesStop Playing Gimmicks with the Gas!

by Rudolph A. Neal

Much like the rest of the country, my jaw dropped in sheer disbelief as we watched in utter dismay as the Prime Minister struggled to elucidate why the cost of fuel has not been reduced in Belize, despite a steady and consistent decrease in the world market. After being pressed by reporters, the Prime Minister jostled with words, trying to piece the seemingly “right” words together to sort of explain to the Belizean people why we are still paying an exorbitant price for fuel, despite a decrease in the cost per barrel of oil, globally. But the Belizean people were not buying that explanation, and quite frankly, were outraged that the cost of fuel has not gone down. So as many try to “make sense” of the narrative, the masses are demanding that this government stop playing gimmicks with the gas!

With the prices of regular gasoline and diesel well over $13 a gallon and premium gasoline inching closer to the $18 mark, the populace is clamoring for some sort of reprieve at the pumps. And the fact that world oil prices are trending downward and that many countries around the world have begun to reduce the cost of fuel, begs the question of why (we) Belizeans are still waking up with such terrible gas pain? The fact that this government has moved swiftly to institute the numerous increases to the public when prices were trending upward, but is dragging their feet to lower the cost of fuel despite a steady decrease per barrel of oil is outright hypocritical and gives credence to the fact that they are playing gimmicks with the gas!

The country listened further to the Prime Minister when he said, when pressed again, that the government is trying to stabilize the cost of fuel by setting up a special fund to manage it, or something of that sort. Further to that, it was shared that some ministers were tasked with coming up with a sort of formula to lower the cost of fuel, with a view to stabilize the prices and bring about much-needed ease in the cost of fuel. Hmmm… Okay, but in the interim, lower the cost of fuel to reflect the market cost at which it was acquired. I mean, it’s okay to want to institute a plan to stabilize the price of fuel, but the Belizean consumers who are already grappling with the cumbersome effects of inflation cannot continue to pay an exorbitant cost while you seek to put your plan in action and devise this purported “formula”. 

You know, truth be told, the formula is very simple. It is not rocket science or quantum physics. The formula doesn’t require Pythagoras’ Theorem or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The formula is quite an ABC and a 123 one. Yes, it doesn’t require the congregation of Ministers in a high-stakes meeting to figure it out. No consultants needed, or bright scholars and the likes of economists. The formula is a simple and a rational one. If the world prices of oil have fallen and you are acquiring the fuel at a lower cost, then the formula is that you pass it on to the consumers at a lower and reduced cost. Simple, simple formula. Provide the much-needed relief at the pumps for the Belizean people by lowering the cost of fuel and stop playing gimmicks with the gas! 

Unchained Reflections of A Liberal Pragmatist. 

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