Give the people some relief from costly electricity bills and high fuel prices.
Opposition Barbados Labour Party spokesman Mia Mottley made that appeal today as Parliamentarians debated legislation to clear the way for offshore oil exploration to take place.
The St. Michael North East MP said local small businesses and the “average person” could no longer bear “the burden” of high electricity prices as well as cost of gas and diesel.
“I am asking the government that they have in my view to reduce the price of fuel oil sold to the Barbados Light & Power by the Barbados National Oil Company for that which is taken out of the ground,” she said.
“This is about people’s ability to keep their heads above water, there is no glory in us waiting for the (Barbados) Labour Party to do it when we win the government, as we will.
“The Democratic Labour Party government in my view ought to be able to take the decision now and bring. This month the fuel adjustment charge is probably going to go to 42.9 cents per kilowatt hour (up) from 41 (cents), give the people relief,” she added.
The former Opposition Leader also Government needed to expand the search for oil onshore, an effort done by the Barbados National Oil Company Limited.
“I am asking that we pursue the expansion of onshore production because if we can reach 2,000 barrels a day minimum …it means that we can drastically reduce the cost of fuel oil to the Barbados Light & Power…because it will mean that the majority of fuel oil supplied then to the Light & Power will come as a result of that which is extracted as crude oil,” she stated.
“I ask…that the government even at this stage consider that as we seek to develop the offshore petroleum sector which we accept will be five to 10 years in terms of its actual inflows to the Barbados economy that we take decisions in relation to our onshore production.
“…We believe that there should be a commitment to expand the domestic drilling programme beyond the 779 barrels that currently exist. It has always been modest yes but we should go for a little more than modest.” (SC)