Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Imbert says government broke the law when it put up gas price; not so, says Howai

Colm Imbert: "You are breaking the law"
An opposition MP on Monday accused the government of breaking the law when it increased the price of premium gasoline from $4 a litre to $5.75 a litre. Diego Martin North/East MP Colm Imbert made the charge during the budget debate in the House of Representatives.

Imbert said Finance Minister Larry Howai broke the Petroleum Levy and Subsidy Act and demanded that Government explain why it imposed a price of $5.75 on the population when the true price of premium gasoline was $4.73. 

"Explain what you have done with the $1 in subsidy levied on oil companies which is supposed to be given back to consumers and used to subsidise all brands of gasoline, whether it is premium, super, to diesel," Imbert said. 

"That levy...is supposed to be applied to each grade of gasoline to offset prices...you are breaking the law!" he charged. 

Larry Howai
However Howai told local media as far as he is aware the Government did not break any law. In an interview with TV6 News Howai said Finance Ministry officials looked at the whole issue of the reduction of the subsidy in premium gasoline.

"Without the subsidy, yes, I'm told that the price would be $6.21 we are actually at $5.75 so there is still an element of subsidy inside of there so the whole issue of contravening the law doesn't really arise as far as we could see," Howai said.

However he said he has asked officials at the Finance Ministry to take a second look "to see whether there is any substance" to Imbert's claim. "But, as far as we're aware, at the moment certainly we are not in contravention in any law that is basically our position at this point in time," Howai said.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai