No to the increase in fuel cost! Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) made its position clear during a press conference at the OWTU’s San Fernando Headquarters, where he demanded that the government abandon any plan to increase fuel prices.
He was responding to statements by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during Tuesday’s “Conversations with the Prime Minister” where he hinted that rising international oil prices would impact T&T’s fuel subsidy.
Noting that there have been three fuel increases under the Rowley regime, Roget said another fuel increase will put an onerous burden on the shoulders and backs of citizens who are already facing extreme pressure with high unemployment, high prices for food, goods and services, tax increases and a reduction in income.
Adding that all of these issues make a cocktail for extreme hardship for the citizens, he said the Prime Minister is now psychologically preparing citizens to accept an increase in fuel costs.
Recalling how the union had fought against the closure of Petrotrin, he said they had warned the closure would result in the removal of all subsidies and will lead to greater economic hardship for the people.
Noting that Petrotrin was a net earner of Foreign Exchange, he said Petrotrin would have been able to mitigate increased oil costs.
He also rejected the claim that the refinery would have been operating at a loss had it been running today. Quoting from what he said were figures from the Ministry of Finance, he said oil production has fallen under Heritage, therefore revenue to the country has also fallen and now citizens are being asked to pay more at the pumps.