Fernandez admits that fuel-price hike could hurt tourism rebound, but deFreitas reminds him he was part of the decision

Franz deFreitas, the United Progressive Party (UPP) Candidate for St. John’s City South, is taking to task Tourism Minister Charles “Max” Fernandez over comments related to the increase in fuel prices.

Fernandez said he is concerned about the impact the hike could have on the economy, especially with regard to the tourism sector, which is just rebounding from two years’ decline.  He is worried, he said, that the recent gains could be reversed.

If airlines increase fares due to the rise in fuel prices worldwide, this could have a negative impact on the travelling public, the Tourism Minister said.

However, deFreitas is calling Fernandez onto the carpet, reminding him that – at the policy-making level, where ideas are discussed on economic issues – it is the responsibility of each Cabinet member to express an objection to policies that are not sound.

The UPP Candidate points out that Fernandez is part of the very Executive that decided to increase fuel prices knowing the ripple effects.

Instead of “crying over spilled milk,” deFreitas says, the Tourism Minister should have stood up and defended the people by opposing the fuel hike.

But in this regard, deFreitas says, Fernandez failed his constituents and the people of Antigua and Barbuda.