First thing this morning, on the front page of The Guardian, is the dreaded month-end news: “Gas prices spike for holiday weekend.” Here we go again. The article says, “the price for gas will jump by 3.5 cents per litre. That will push pump prices up to 140.3 to 141.5 cents per litre.”
First, the current price, at almost all gas stations, is 136.3 cents. Adding 3.5 cents makes that 139.8 cents. What government wizard is doing the math? Or are they adding HST to the increase, but not bothering to include that in the amount when they announce it?
When Ghiz and Sheridan announced the coming of the HST (good for business, good for jobs, remember?), they put out a full-page newspaper ad (April 21, 2012) and glossy flyer that said “Gasoline/Diesel prices will be adjusted through changes to the Provincial Excise Tax, in order to maintain our competitive position with neighbouring provinces.” Your words, folks, not mine. So, let’s have a look at gasbuddy.com. The ‘neighbouring provinces’ just adjusted their prices: Moncton: 134.9; Fredericton: 129.9; Halifax: 140.1.
Now, I realize I am only a stupid consumer who must drive to earn a living, but that looks like we’re the highest. And we have been for the most part since HST. That’s not exactly competitive is it, Wes?
Then we see home heating oil is also going up, this time a whopping 4.0 cents a litre. Going by gas prices, I’m guessing that’s really 4.6 cents with HST. For those who worry about making ends meet, that’s another $46.00 to fill your oil tank (but good for jobs, right?). IRAC, friend to all Islanders, used to say when they jacked up heating oil prices every winter, ‘it’s supply and demand, Islanders use more oil this time of year, so prices rise.’ In case they have the air conditioning turned up too high in the IRAC tower, this was one of the warmest summers on record. Demand is way down right now.
IRAC. What a farce.