Morgan: no immediate reprieve from rising commodity prices
While there is no immediate reprieve from rising fuel prices that are driving up transportation and other costs, the Minister of Information Robert Morgan has said that the issue of taxation on commodities, including fuel, “is a conversation that we [the Government] are going to have to have with the Ministry of Finance”.
Morgan made the comment at Wednesday morning’s post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House as he responded to a question about whether the administration will yield to growing calls to remove the gas tax that is driving up prices at the pumps and elsewhere.
“Is there anything that the government can do to cushion the effects of these on consumers?” Morgan was asked.
Responding, the minister said: “…One of the biggest concerns, primarily of the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet as well as the Ministry of Finance, is the rising prices within the world which is contributing to rising prices in Jamaica”.
Morgan noted that the price of oil is now roughly US$90 per barrel whereas it was below US$60 per barrel a few months ago.
“So there are many factors operating on the local economy and causing inflation to drive. We’re an island; we do not produce hydrocarbons, so we have to import hydrocarbons. The global trade system has been disrupted and there are other associated costs and speculation within the global markets that has led to an increase in prices generally and also an increase in oil prices,” Morgan continued.
Morgan says Gov’t concerned about rising commodity prices Jamaica Observer