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Fuel Prices in the Bahamas Soar

Similarly, the Millers Association has asked for an increase in the controlled price of flour. That means, even if people choose not to buy bread, making it on their own will be more expensive. What’s also getting costlier is transportation and freight, thanks to an increase in fuel on the Caribbean archipelago (ar-ki-pe-la-go). According to Youri Kemp, residents of the nation have seen fuel prices shoot up by more than forty percent. Like Belize, Kemp adds that the Government is hesitant in reducing the taxes on fuel.

Youri Kemp, CEO Arawak Media:“Fuel has gone up at least 40 – 50% now. We were at $5.30 a month and a half ago and now we’re at over $6. We’re at $6.30 average across all the stations: Rubis, Texaco and Shell. So it’s, it doesn’t look like it’s going back down and the government doesn’t seem to want to cut the tax because we have VAT on gasoline and plus we have excise tax, but the government said they don’t want to reduce the tax because they’re not sure if the gas may go down or oil may go down on the markets again because don’t forget, last month. The value was up last month. It went back down under $100 then it went back up again. So they’re not sure plus they’re trying to recoup some of the money they lost through the COVID-19 economic fallout so they don’t want to cut taxes right now and we just have to bear it, you know. We just have to ride it out.”

Reporter: As a CEO and journalist, what’s the feedback you get from members of the public there? 

Youri Kemp, CEO Arawak Media: “They know. They know. Well, they have an idea that the war in Ukraine and Russia is part of the problem. But, um, they just understand that the war in Ukraine and Russia is going to continue to rise and raise the price of oil. But, there’s some other things that’s happening as well that they haven’t been talking about, for example, some of the policies that the Biden Administration have put in place. For example, they’ve started to flood the mosh up* with money again. The Fed* has been reluctant to raise interest rates and so there’s a lot of money out there and people are spending money but they aren’t going back to work from the COVID-19. So you have them out spending money but no ones actually out there producing anything. So it’s leading to this weird inflation where on the western side of this world, because we depend so much on the United States it’s really putting a burden on us because we can’t have them spending money willy-nilly and not producing anything because we get all of our stuff from them. Food stuffs, car parts, household materials, everything from the United States so we need them to control their inflationary pressure as well.”