Tobagonians fear domino effect of gas price increase

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A man fills his tank with super gasoline at the Milford Gas Station, Bon Accord, Crown Point, Tuesday. – David Reid

Tobagonians are wary of the domino effect of Tuesday’s increase in fuel prices.

Drivers were forced to fork out more per litre at the pump at gas stations around the island.

Drivers will have to pay an increase of one dollar more per litre for premium ($6.75) and super gasoline ($5.97), and 50 cents more per litre rise for diesel ($3.91).

The Prime Minister said recently that the fuel subsidy was unsustainable owing to the global hike in fuel prices.

Newsday interviewed drivers and regular people in Scarborough to get their reaction to the hike in gas prices. The mood was one of a general concern for an increase in food prices, taxi fares and unemployment.

Danique Edwards, a public servant of Calder Hall, said “I feel like people in the country go suffer, cost of living going up ever so often and salaries not increasing. How are we to survive in this situation?”

Brian Anthony of Mason Hall said, “My main concern is a next increase in taxi fares. Fares were raised recently and obviously, with the increase in gas prices, the taxi drivers will find a reason to increase their fares.”

Taxi drivers in Tobago east and west increased their fares by $1 last month.

Raquel Mills of Whim said the cost of living is becoming too high. “We living on 2013 salaries, we could never feel good when gas prices go up, it has a domino effect on food production and taxi fares. So, cost of living will increase,” she said.

One concerned citizen who wished to remain anonymous said, “This is a bad time to raise gas prices. Since this government came into power, all of their policies have increased the economic burden on the population.

“Is property tax, increase in food prices, talk of an increase for utility bills and now raise in gas prices with no salary increase. They have done nothing to increase the disposable income of citizens. They should have settled wage negotiations before any talk of gas price increases.”

Donald O’Connor of Calder Hall is prepared to make the necessary adjustments. He said, “We cannot do anything about it, the government have no choice. The war in Ukraine has destabilised gas prices around the world.

“I am prepared to reduce my pleasure driving and attend to important things. People have to understand the situation and learn to adjust. People now trying to adjust during covid.”