Home » Senator Shoul dismantles UPP’s cost-of-living arguments.

Senator Shoul dismantles UPP’s cost-of-living arguments.

by pointe team
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Government Senator Philip Shoul has exposed the claims made by the UPP’s

senators in the Upper House about the cost-of-living in the country as being

unrealistic and which amount to nothing more than ‘empty promises’.

Speaking in the Senate on the 2023 National Budget debate, Sen. Shoul noted that

there seemed to have been a theme running through the presentation by the

opposition senators, related to the cost-of-living and suggesting that this was the

government’s fault.

However, in a deliberate and painstaking presentation, Shoul produced data which

showed clearly, that the rise in the cost of living had nothing to do with the

government of Antigua and Barbuda and in fact, it was the result of inflation

internationally, that is currently affecting major economies such as the United

States and Europe.

To support his presentation, he produced the figures comparing the cost of fuel

(gasoline and diesel) in Antigua and Barbuda compared with the other

neighbouring islands. “I heard Sen. Nicholas talking about lowering fuel prices

because they thrive on the suffering of the people of Antigua and Barbuda. All

their presentations so far, focused on the ‘suffering’ of the people of the country. I

just want people to understand two things; one is that the price of oil on the world

market (Tuesday’s price: US$75.00 per barrel) is not cheap as has been claimed

and secondly, it has been at that price for a long time. Additionally, if the

government was to purchase this ‘cheap’ oil, as was suggested by an opposition

senator, where will we store it?” he asked.

He went on to present the price of fuel across the OECS as produced by the

Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

 Anguilla Gasoline $15.79 Diesel $16.73

 Antigua and Barbuda Gasoline $13.99 Diesel $14.25

 Dominica Gasoline $14.96 Diesel $13.84

 Grenada Gasoline $15.31 Diesel $16.27

 Montserrat Gasoline $17.66 Diesel $15.79

 St Kitts-Nevis Gasoline $14.29 Diesel $19.89

 St. Lucia Gasoline $17.00 Diesel $17.00


 St Vincent and the Grenadines Gasoline $15.06 Diesel $16.37

Senator Shoul also noted that not only are fuel prices in Antigua and Barbuda

cheaper than the neighbouring islands, but the government also subsidises the

prices for bus drivers, fishermen and taxis.

Speaking about other prices, he explained that chicken, for example, has been

higher in both the US and Brazil where most of the supplies originate. He noted

that the prices for all the factors of production have increased, and where there

may be a price drop, the suppliers have deliberately reduced production.

He further explained that the majority of these items are already zero-rated,

meaning that they attract no taxes, so removing the taxes would not help. He

also revealed that the Antigua and Barbuda ‘basket of items’ that are zero-rated

or where the taxes are reduced amount to a whopping 189 items.

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