Archive for April, 2009

Gas Tax increase in Jamaica Today

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Today is the day when the the gas tax announced by Jamaica’s Minister of Finance takes effect. According to a  Jamaica Gleaner report,  there was a rush on Gas Stations yesterday, however, I did not see any at the stations I passed.  Indeed, I  happened to be at a Gas Station twice in the evening an although there was an increase in activity there were no delays or no real rush.

The jamaican government seems to believe, based on pass experience, that the demand for Gasoline will not change with the price increase, i.e. demand will be inelastic, to borrow a term from economic theory. The months ahead will prove whether their assessment was right or wrong.

In the meanwhile, remember to practice these gas saving tips.


Jamaica’s Government increases gas tax by $8.75 per litre

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

It is now official, the Special Consumption Tax(SCT) on Gas products is to be increased by $8.75 per litre. The  Finance and Public Service Minister of Jamaica, Audley Shaw, announced the increase in parliament today.

Many gas stations, in Kingston were swamped with motorist trying to get the ‘last’ of the cheap gas. There was no such rush according to radio reports in the rest of the country.

The data below shows how the situation changes when this tax comes into place on April 2009, using the ex-refinery price of Unleaded 87 for April 23, 2009. 

Current Situation

Ex-Refinery Before Tax: $44.17

Current Tax: $7.36
Ex-Refinery After Tax: $51.53

With Tax increase:

Ex-Refinery Before Tax: $44.17
New Tax: $16.11 (7.36 + 8.75)
Ex-Refinery After Tax: $60.28

As usual gas stations will their respective margins.  

Now that the gas tax increases have been announced, it is hoped that Jamaicans will either accept the decision or if so moved, lodge their protest in a peaceful manner. One simply protest is to boycott the product as far as possible or simply conserve. Time will tell whether or not Jamaica will face similar Gas Riot to those of 1985 and 1999.

Gas Tax?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Well it is budget time in Jamaica, and with falling revenues from Bauxite, Tourism and other areas, the government is looking for new areas to raise revenue. Since late 2008, Mike Henry, Minister of Transport and Works, has been floating the idea of an increasing the tax on gas. The last time  an increase in the tax on gas was attempted, the Government of the time faced the Gas Riots of 1999 and had to roll back the tax.  Since then any suggestion of an increase in the gas tax has quietly died.

The problem is this time, the government might argue that it has no where else to turn. Our dependency on foreign oil is a huge drain on the economy and the demand for US$ continues to put pressure on the Jamaican dollar.  Jamaica continues to have one of cheapest gas prices for a country that that does not have oil. Taxing gasoline also the government to widen the tax net, something that governments have been trying to do over the years.

For now we sit and wait and wonder, gas tax increase and how much?