Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Are the Jamaican Taxi Operators being fair?

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Some Taxi operators in Jamaica have been restless since the announcement of the $7 increase in special consumption tax (SCT) on gasoline.  The demands have come that taxi operates will need a fare increase. However is this request for fare increase fair? The table below shows the ex-refinery prices for May 13, 2106 vs. May 14. 2016.

Note that 87 and 90 Gasoline are both $11.57 less now than the same time 2015. Diesel and USLD are $13.92 and $14.71 lower respectively.  It is fair that there is the fear that if world oil prices go up then the situation could change and become less favourable.

Based on the table above there is no need for a taxi-fare increase. They should look at the benefits they were afforded by lower world oil prices before the SCT increase. Did the lower their fares as a result?

Commuters should have demanded lower fares

If you use the table below the passengers of the taxi operators in Jamaica should have been protesting for lower fares. Before the increase in SCT, the ex-refinery prices of gasoline 87 and 90 were 17% lower than in 2015.

The public can be the judge, but from what can be seen a fair judgment is that the need for taxi-fare increases at this time is alarmist and not fact-based.

What the taxi-operators should do is support sites like Jamaica Gas Prices and consistently highlight service stations selling quality gas and lower prices.

Jamaican Gas tax goes up by $7

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The Jamaican Government has increased the special consumption tax (SCT) on gasoline products by $7. This brings the SCT to $32.11, $32.88, $31.41 & $31.41 on 87, 90, diesel and Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel respectively. The breakdown of fuel prices are shown below:

Gasoline 87

E10 87 Ex Refinery Price: 59.9692
E10 87 SCT: 32.11
E10 87 Ad Valorem SCT: 9.2075
E10 87 Final Ex Refinery Price: 101.2828

Gasoline 90

E10 Ex Refinery Price: 61.10
E10 90 SCT: 32.4792
E10 90 Ad Valorem SCT: 9.3581
E10 90 Final Ex Refinery Price: 102.9387


Diesel Ex Refinery Price: 53.9494
Diesel SCT: 31.4145
Diesel Ad Valorem SCT: 8.5364
Diesel Final Ex Refinery Price: 93.9003

Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel

ULSD Ex-Ref: 61.4377
ULSD SCT: 31.4145
ULSD Ad Valorem SCT: 9.2852
ULSD Final Ex Refinery Price: 102.1374

It should be noted that while the SCT moved by $7 because of how the ex-refinery price is calculated the prices went up by $7.70 between May 12 & 13, 2016. The SCT is added to the initial ex-refinery price and then approximately 10% Ad Valorem SCT is added to arrive at the final price.  See e.g. below

$59.9692+$32.11 = $92.0792
10% (9.9995%) Ad Valorem = $9.2075
$92.0792 + $9.2075 = $101.2867 ( adjusted for rounding errors)
Total: $101.2828

Taxes on Gasoline

It should be noted that taxes on fuel now account for 41% of the ex-refinery price.

Once again it is important that Jamaicans motorists note which gas stations are selling gasoline at the best prices and take advantage of the available savings.

Unipet Gas Stations Sold to Johnson Petroleum

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

According to a Jamaica Gleaner report, Unipet (United Petroleum) has been sold to Johnson’s Holdings.

Unipet service stations generally have some of the lowest in the gas prices submitted to the Jamaica Gas Prices website. It is seen as a service station for budget conscious Jamaica drivers.

According to the report the brands, Unipet and Johnson’s, will remain. Johnson’s are also in the business of low price high volumes. As such this deal should not affect consumers negatively.

The deal was arranged by GK Capital on the request of Hagley Park Holdings who previously owned 80% of Unipet. It is seem some of the aging shareholders of Hagley Park Holdings were keen on cashing out.

It should be noted that Unipet’s name did not come up at all in the recent bad gas scandal to affect Jamaican consumers recently


17 Stations involved in Bad Gas?

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

The Government of Jamaica has declined to name the 17 stations apparently involved in selling bad or contaminated gas. Instead the Jamaican Government has order the stations to shut down by midnight December 29, 2015 while the investigations continue. The stations are distributed in the following parishes of Jamaica, as indicated below.

  • Kingston and St Andrew - 7
  • Clarendon - 3
  • St. James - 3
  • Manchester - 2
  • St. Catherine - 1
  • St. Thomas - 1

In time it will become obvious which stations are involved.

The decision not to name the stations at this time is reasonable in our opinion. The government is refusing to blame the gas station operators for the bad gas until investigation conclusively point to either one of or a combination of the following:

  • Rogue services station
  • Poorly maintained tanks/delivery systems
  • Rogue Truckers
  • Rogue Contractor
  • Contaminated Imported Gas

Instead of the big stick, the government has effectively gone for “voluntary” shutdown. The problem is the source of the contamination has not been pinned down. Once the stations remove the bad stock, and ensure the tanks are okay, look for the service stations to resume normal operations.

What this latest issue has raised is that there clearly a lack of monitoring of quality of gas being sold to consumers. It is clear that no systemic random testing for quality assurance was being done.

Leaning traffic signal pole

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

As you drive around Kingston, Jamaica,  motorists will face many dangers. There are undisciplined motorists, potholes and craters.

However, recently I noticed this leaning traffic signal pole at the intersection of Waterloo Road and South Avenue.  There is also a wire under the arm near the traffic signals, either being stretched or in support of the leaning pole. The wire itself poses a danger should it break and hit some unsuspecting motorist or pedestrian. I understand that this stoplight has been leaning this way every since an accident in September 2015. When will the authorities fix this issue?