Fuel, Electric Rates Rise In St. Kitts

Hardbeatnews, BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Tues. Nov. 1, 2005: Kittians will have to dole out more hard-earned cash for gasoline and electricity from today, government announced last night.

The price per gallon of fuel will increase from EC$8.30 to $10.50 while electricity will rise from $0.37 cents per kilowatt hour to $0.51 cents per kilowatt hour.

Today’s fuel increase is the second for this year; fuel prices rose in February. But it will be the first rise in electricity rates since 2000.

Minister of Public Works, Utilities, Transport and Posts, Dr. Earl Asim Martin, in a nationwide radio and television broadcast Monday night, blamed the increase on escalating oil prices which he said now pose the greatest threat to the achievement of fiscal targets for 2005.

But he claimed that government has put in place a mechanism to assist the more vulnerable groups to cope with the rise in energy costs.

There was no mention of the much-touted PetroCaribe Iniative and when it will become a reality to possibly help lower fuel costs across the island and the region.

The price hike comes as prices for crude oil fell to US$59.76 a barrel yesterday for the first time in three months. – Hardbeatnews.com