Latest News

Haiti announces fuel price increases to help public finances

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP) — Haiti's government announced on Sunday fuel price increases of up to 20 per cent in an effort to shore up the country's disastrous public finances.People in this destitute Caribbean nation rushed to gas stations to top off their tanks before the price rises take effect on Monday.

The government had been negotiating with transport unions for more than a week so Haitians knew an increase was in the works.

Haiti exports only about a billion dollars worth of goods each year and imports more than three times that.

With that kind of deficit and meager tax revenues, the government cannot even keep up with interest payments on debt it has with Venezuela, for instance.

For the past 12 years, Haiti has benefited from a program instituted by the late Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez under which Caracas provided some countries of Latin America and the Caribbean with petroleum products at cut rate prices, with the bills payable over 25 years at an interest rate of one per cent.

Since 2008, Haiti has in effect received two billion dollars in loans from Venezuela.

But it has failed to invest that money in economic development policies -- the idea behind the Chavez plan -- that would raise living standards and put the government in a position to pay back the debt.

Previous Haitian governments have shied from keeping fuel prices in sync with world market prices, fearing inflation that would anger the population.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT