Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace. (IWN photo)
Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace. (IWN photo)

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace says he believes that electricity consumers pay, through the surcharge, for fuel used at the Argyle airport, contrary to what the Government has told Parliament.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, responding in Parliament this month to a question from Eustace said that to include the fuel in the electricity surcharge would be illegal.

But Eustace told supporters of his New Democratic Party at a rally in Layou on Tuesday that he believes the Prime Minister lied.

He said while he had his own suspicions about the fuel surcharge, he “had to ask a question, hoping to get an answer”.

“The answer I got, I believe it’s a lie. That’s my view,” Eustace said.

VINLEC, the state-owned and sole electricity company, imports, under the PetroCaribe initiative, fuel for electricity generation.

But the company also imports fuel for equipment at the Argyle international airport construction site.

“I want to know whether the airport diesel is added into the surcharge which you [are] paying. But I can’t get a proper answer,” Eustace said.

“He say it don’t happen but there are some things they have to explain later. What other things they have to explain?” Eustace said of the Prime Minister.

He used an illustration saying that if VINLEC imports $5 million in diesel, including $1 million for the airport, the fuel surcharge should only be levied on the $4 million used for electricity generation.

“They charging the surcharge on the five million or they charging it on the four million? You don’t know. I believe they charging it on the full five million and you [are] paying what the airport should pay. In any event, even if you [are] paying that, you [are] still paying back the airport loans and everything you know. That is what it boils down to and you must understand these things,” Eustace said.

But Gonsalves told Parliament last month that there is “absolutely no subsidy” by VINLEC to the International Airport Development Company (IADC), the state-owned firm overseeing the building of the airport.

“Again, that is another falsehood that the reason why the fuel surcharge is so high [is because] VINLEC [is] subsidising IADC,” Gonsalves said.

8 replies on “Eustace believes airport diesel added to electricity surcharge”

  1. Cadwall King says:

    Mr. Arnhim Eustace! Ok! let us say you are correct about the fuel surcharge and the airport! who the airport belongs to? Ralph? why don’t you try to find some valid issues to bring to the public! stop crying wolf, wolf! people are getting fed-up man. strewpz. >>>>

    1. WHOA!!…Sounds like you don’t pay for electricity. Public over paying for electricity is not a valid issues. The only people getting fed-up is ULP supporters, have constantly to defend the lies of their party.

  2. I was the first to raise the fuel supply to the airport, asking if it was paid for by us the consumers. I believed it was then, I still believe it.

    LET VINLEC COME FORWARD AND CATEGORICALLY DENY IT, LET SOMEONE WHO WE CAN HOLD ACCOUNTABLE TO THE LAW FOR TELLING LIES TELL US. BECAUSE IF IT IS BEING ADDED TO OUR BILLS IT IS A MATTER OF A DECEPTIVE PRACTICE. AND RECENTLY ACCORDING TO GONSALVES AN ILLEGAL ACT TO CHARGE US FOR ANY FUEL NOT USED TO RUN THE GENERATORS.

    VINLEC, tell us, tell us now, has any fuel used by the airport machinery been charged to the consumers’?

    I find it unacceptable to accept the word of the prime minister, because he told us he sometimes tells lies. I therefore discount everything he says.

  3. Mr King stop being a fool. The reason why the PM doesn’t want to tell us this information is because Vincentians are busting their tail to pay an unfair bill. They said they had all the funding, and if they don’t then that means they were lying again. Mr Eustace is a Vincentian, and a black man with strong values and education in economic, The Pm cannot swim in the same economic waters with this guy.

    Where I am sitting now in the states, my rate is 14 Cents a kilowatt, but in SVG, the same electricity cost 35 cent a kilowatt in US dollars. SVG has some of the highest cost of energy in the world. Under the ULP the cost of living including food, electricity and transportation has increased. WHO DO YOU ALL CARE ABOUT OUR COUNTRY OR A PRIME MINISTER THAT’S ON HIS WAY OUT?

  4. Is there a surcharge or not? You argument that the airport belongs to SVG is correct, but let then people know they have already started to pay through their noses for it. All these hidden cost is reason not to believe anything Ralph says. I just paid my electricity bill and so this information and question is valid.

Comments are closed.