Barrow Rejects Low Prices for Butane

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Dean Barrow and the United Democratic Party called for a Special House meeting today to legally shaft the butane consumers of the country by telling them that they cannot have low priced Liquid Petroleum Gas(LPG). Even though the legislation is an axe versus who, in a Freudian slip, Barrow called Cartel or Mafia, the Barrow administration again showed that they are definitely lame clueless ducks. They did not care nor could they find how to channel this butane Black Friday to benefit the consumers for this Christmas. All Barrow was hellbent on doing is getting it his way even if he had to do it in a 2019 version of the UDP 1995 Christmas retrenchment of 800 workers.

In layman’s terms, Dean Barrow went to the house to tell the foreign monopoly that they could not lower the prices of their butane.

This monopoly is based in Mexico and has been importing butane for as many years as most of us have memory of Belize. Even if they have held Belize hostage, Dean Barrow could have found someway somehow to let consumers benefit in the next six months or so before the Belize Gas Company comes into effect.

On the sixteenth of November, GoB announced fixed prices per gallon of butane gas. This coincides with when LPG importers Belize Western Energy Limited, Gas Tomza, and Southern Choice Butane (Zeta Gas) began selling butane at a much cheaper price. Note that the main monopoly is embodied in these three companies. This was a reaction to the National Gas Company which would be the sole importer of butane in the country by mid-year 2020. Barrow says that the legislation of prices is necessary to prevent predatory pricing by major importers who have engaged in an act of driving prices down well below the maximum ceiling for retail and wholesale of LPG. The normal Belizeans see low prices as good news but the government believes that the companies are focusing on driving out some twenty-five local retailers out of the market.

At the House, the PUP representatives did not hold back.

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition: “I’ve heard government’s protecting the consumers from price gouging, wanting to make sure that the suppliers will not take advantage of the consumers. I think this is the first time that the government is protecting the suppliers that they cannot go low below a certain price. This is madness … especially during these times Christmas times, everyone will do a lot of cooking, a lot of baking and yet the government would not allow the competition to reduce the price. It really makes absolutely no sense.”

Cordel Hyde, Area Rep., Lake Independence: “Maybe I am missing something but I would think that we would pass to protect the majority of people not a handful of people. … Don’t come to tell me it is something that you people will shaft us, it is locals that will shaft us, it is not foreigners who will shaft you.  I don’t care who it is, I don’t want anyone to shaft me.”

Kareem Musa, Area Rep., Caribbean Shores: “… this particular Act is a direct assault on the vast majority of poor and middle class Belizeans, …”