More electricity rate increases coming - Paulwell
Opposition Spokesman on Energy Phillip Paulwell has again warned that Jamaicans will face additional increases in electricity rates when the 120-megawatt Bogue plant starts using liquefied natural gas in August.
Noting that consumers have already seen significant increases in the price of petroleum products since February this year, Paulwell said that a check of ex-refinery prices from Petrojam for close to five months revealed a 40 per cent increase in the price of fuel.
Speaking on Thursday at a post-Sectoral Debate press conference staged by opposition spokespersons at the People's National Party headquarters on Old Hope Road, St Andrew, Paulwell said the 40 per cent increase since February did not occur only because of the hike in the price of oil on the international market, but because of the "tremendous taxation that has been imposed on the people of Jamaica, coupled with the devaluation of our currency.
"When the announcement was made about the increased tax on heavy fuel oil and liquefied natural gas, the minister did say that it would not be applicable to the Jamaica Public Service Company - that was ... , not true - and it has been borne out by the increase that we are going to see this month, and I do anticipate that next month we will also see a similar increase."
Paulwell said that by the end of the year, the price of oil worldwide would continue to inch up resulting in increased burden on the transport sector as well as electricity rates.
In his presentation to the Budget Debate last month, Minster of Finance and Public Service Audley Shaw announced an increase in the specific Special Consumption Tax (SCT) component by $7 per litre on petrol.
He also disclosed an SCT regime for liquefied natural gas and revised the regime for heavy fuel oil.