Fuel Prices and You

What does increased fuel prices mean for residents?

That was among the many questions answered when the Consumer Affairs Unit of the Division of Finance, Trade and Economy hosted the consumer watch webinar: ‘Fuel Prices and You: The Economic Implications of an Increase in Oil and Energy Prices.’

The discussion, held on May 5th, featured host Hayden Blades, and four expert panelists: economist Dr. Vanus James, chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce (Tobago Division) Diane Hadad, founder of the Academy of Auto Mechanics Roy Marslier, and manager of the Consumer Affairs Unit, Langdon Phillips.

Mr. Phillips said the webinar focused on the consumer perspective of the decrease in the national fuel subsidy.

The Consumer Affairs Unit is the primary body involved in the promotion of the well-being of consumers in Tobago and our mission is the education, empowerment, and protection of the Tobago consumer,” Phillips said.

He said the webinar is the first programme of the Unit’s ‘In the Know: Consumer Watch series’, which will focus on emerging consumer affairs issues. The series will provide a forum for healthy discourse on consumer-centric matters.

Meanwhile, Dr. James said inflation is a major factor that has affected fuel prices.

We expect in the foreseeable future, in light of what has happened with COVID and the war that’s going on in Europe, we expect that inflation will continue for quite a while…. Inflation generally means a tendency for the price level to rise,” Dr. James said.

Because of the high import content of domestic demand, domestic expenditures, most of the inflation in Trinidad and Tobago is imported, even in the context of a stable exchange rate,” he said.

During the discussion, the panelists provided data to highlight key issues and shared strategies residents can use to mitigate the impact of increased fuel prices. To watch the entire session, visit the Division’s Facebook page.

Economist Dr. Vanus James (2022).
Manager of the Consumer Affairs Unit Langdon Phillips (2022).