Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) and former Minister of Finance, is rejecting as “another big lie” the assertion that there was a hike in fuel prices in 2014.
Today’s Cabinet Notes claim that the UPP Administration, in 2014, increased the price of fuel at the pumps in an effort to “increase tax yield from the sale of gasoline and diesel,” adding that “there was no global crisis” at the time.
But Lovell tells REAL News that statement is an “outright fabrication.”
He says the UPP was forced to increase the cost of gas in 2011, at the time to $14.99 per gallon, and this was eventually reduced to $13.50.
Between 2011 and 2014, Lovell explains, the price of oil on the world market fluctuated between US$100 and US$124 per barrel.
Accordingly, he notes, the average consumption tax collected by the Spencer Administration during that period was $26 million a year.
In contrast, Lovell notes, the Browne Administration collected more than $64 million in 2019, plus $79 million in 2020, on account of the very low prices on the international market. “And yet,” he says, “the cost of fuel at the pumps in Antigua and Barbuda remained the same.”