The Opposition is once again urging the government to roll back the Special Consumption Tax, (SCT) on oil.
Energy Spokesman, Phillip Paulwell, says the rollback is needed now more than ever to protect Jamaicans from rising oil prices. He was speaking during yesterday’s sitting of the House of Representatives.
Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Phillip Paulwell, was yesterday reacting to news the US Government has responded favourably to requests for a waiver from punishing sanctions to be imposed on Windalco through its Russian parent company, UC Rusal.
However, Mr. Paulwell says while the reprieve is welcomed, the workers at Windalco and Jamaicans, in general, are still under threat from rising oil prices.
Three years ago, the then PNP administration instituted a special consumption tax on petrol to fund a hedging arrangement to guard against what was expected to be a sharp rise in world oil prices.
However, oil prices at the time never rose to a level where the hedge could be utilized.
The current administration didn’t continue the arrangement, however, the SCT was never rolled back.
The government instead increased the SCT as part of a raft of measures to fund the $1.5-million tax threshold increase.
Mr. Paulwell is urging the government to roll back the tax as oil prices continue to rise.
Mr. Paulwell also says a worrying increase in the price of electricity is being witnessed.
He says these factors will most likely result in much higher values of inflation.