Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Why is an oil tax still in place?

Published:Friday | August 3, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The previous government went into a 15-month contract three years ago (June 2015 to September 2016) when crude oil prices were expected to increase. This was done to guard against future spikes in world oil prices at a time of escalating prices. As a result, for the first time in the history of Jamaica a tax was introduced to support this in the form of a hedged fund.

However, those oil hedging contracts have expired and were not renewed, although the $7.00 per litre tax on fuel remains two years later.

On May 4, 2018, in the Gleaner, "opposition Spokesperson on Energy Phillip Paulwell charged that the tax had been diverted for other purposes." This obviously raises some serious questions that the taxpayers should be made aware of such as:

• What was this money used for?

• How much special consumption taxes (SCT) have been collected yearly since its inception?

Now, with a skyrocket price hike in some location as high as $176 per litre (historic figure in Jamaica) we are being impacted greatly. We tried, we failed yet we keep collecting the Jamaican people's money at the pumps for something obsolete. Why? What else out there is in a similar state?

With the new fiascos circling Petrojam and the entire energy portfolio, more red flags are raised.

When will Jamaicans unite, and hold the government accountable. This is a democratic country that the people's voice matter, regardless of the political party that we the people put in to oversee.

Andrew Otto