MP Marlin-Romeo comments on cooking gas issue

PHILIPSBURG – Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Leona Marlin-Romeo said on Thursday, February 25 that, “A much needed relief for the people of St. Maarten was given in the form of a public announcement that was issued on Friday, February 19, from the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), indicating that there will be an adjustment to cooking gas.”

“This adjustment was expected to immediately commence on Monday, February 22, 2016. However, according to The Daily Herald’s publication on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, a day after the official date of implementation, businesses were still selling cooking gas at the old prices.”

“This has my full attention as the people of St. Maarten would have finally seen a drastic cut in cooking gas, and would be able to keep in their pockets, NAf. 20.27 for a 20lb bottle and NAf. 40.04 for a 100lb bottle. What is happening to the controls? Who is ensuring that the new prices are being implemented by all businesses? Why do households have to continue with the burden of old prices?”

“This is a needed relief for the consumers and households in general. These are questions this Member of Parliament wants to pose to the Minister responsible as soon as the Minister decides to find time in her schedule to address Parliament.”

“Additionally, it has been stated in Wednesday’s publication of The Daily Herald that the overall Consumer Price Index and inflation have decreased on average compared to the year 2014. With the public knowledge dropping world market price of oil this behavior is expected and as a consequence just recently LIAT has agreed to remove their fuel clause making tickets less expensive.”

“Even utility companies in the region are doing the same. This Member of Parliament will like to know what the Minister of TEATT is doing with regard to GEBE and their build up rates. Can the same be done so that the people can feel less burdened with the cost of electricity?”

“The Minister of TEATT has not found time in her schedule to address consumer protection concerns. The Minister holds a critical function and needs to give an account to the people of St. Maarten on matters that affect them. Cooking gas has not received any decrease for the entire year of 2015 as far as this Member of Parliament can recall.”

“The people of Curaçao pay NAf. 40 for a 100lb bottle and NAf. 8 for a 20lb bottle of cooking gas. On Bonaire the cost of LPG is even cheaper with the cost being NAf. 27.31 for a 100lb bottle and NAf. 7.31 for a 20lb bottle. In St. Maarten, the published price for a 100lb bottle is NAf. 112.96, while businesses are charging the old price of NAf. 153, the published price for a 20lb bottle is NAf. 21.73, but businesses are selling it for NAf. 42.”

“The much awaited answer to the cries of when will the people of St. Maarten feel a relief after the constant decrease of international oil prices, is still awaiting. I have campaigned on the premise to look out for the needs and betterment of the people, and in so doing will continue to monitor developments and request that urgent audience of the Minister, hoping that the Minister will honour both the December 1, 2015, request and the new request that will be sent,” Independent MP Marlin-Romeo concluded.

Source: 721 news MP Marlin-Romeo comments on cooking gas issue