Hit the Trini roads with electric cars
For as long as I can remember, the issue of the gas subsidy has been around. Some time in 1990/1 when the PNM returned to power, it was then finance minister Wendell Mottley who nearly broke the nation's back with an increase of 65 per cent in the excise duty on gasoline. This is why when all man jack went diesel.
Then came the UNC who increased gas by 10 per cent but took away licence fees; fair enough. Up came Christine Sahadeo who also increased gas by 10 per cent, but she said, she didn't know that increasing gas prices would have an inflationary effect. Patrick Manning's government brought gas to where it is by introducing the differentiated super and premium gasoline octane content. That, Dr Rowley, was a cruel bullpistle on the working class. And now we have the current situation, where for about two years, every two-by-four analyst has been bleating that the gas subsidy should be reduced. Whoop bang! Larry does it and how high? Up to $5.75 per litre for premium and as if it was a surprise, the people who have anything like $150,000 to $265,000 to purchase a motor car or an SUV, are now crying out. These same people fight like dog and cat for a free park on Treasury Street. They are now crying crocodile tears.
I think the time has come for the Government to come clean on gas prices. I would like to know what is the full price of a metric gallon of premium and super gasoline and diesel. Clearly we are not continuing into the future with gasolene and it makes no sense to buy a car and then go and spend $10,000 for a CNG kit.
I am calling on the car dealers to signal to the Japanese car makers that a market for the electric car (e.g. the Prius) has just emerged in T&T. All this talk about CNG means nothing. I do not want another tank in my tray, in my trunk or in my mirror. Indeed, it would be interesting to see if all the MPs including those with BMWs and Porsches on both sides of the House will go CNG ( I doubt it). I really don't understand why in this country we produce gas and yet we must be taxed so heavily. The time has come to put an efficient transport system in place to ease the burden as well as reduce income taxes. If this is done, it will give people the income to buy gas.