Buenos Aires Times

economy RELIEF FOR CONSUMERS

Gov't backflips on gas price hike

Consumers are already feeling the heat of rising energy prices, against the backdrop of a strong US dollar and the Macri government’s ongoing roll-back of Kirchner-era subsidies on energy and transport.

Wednesday 10 October, 2018
National Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel.
National Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

The State will pay for unforeseen increases in the cost of gas, the Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio confirmed.

The decision is a back-flip for the government, after public outrage and opposition manoeuvres in Congress to stymie the plan, which would have seen consumers paying increased gas prices in 24 installments from January, 2019.

The State will pay the increases itself in 30 installments, Rogelio confirmed Wednesday.  He had met with party congressional leaders and coalition Senators to announce the decision, putting the brakes on a 3pm vote to block the government's plan.

The increased costs of gas stem from the sharp devaluation of the peso.

The original measure, announced by the Energy Secretariat, cost Secretary Javier Iguacel a criminal complaint and has thrown his leadership of the complex portfolio into question, with sources telling Perfil that many high-ranking officials were unaware of the plan before its announcement.

Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuan described the retroactive, extraordinary increase on consumer prices as unconstitutional.

Consumers are already feeling the heat of rising energy prices, against the backdrop of a strong US dollar and the Macri government’s ongoing roll-back of Kirchner-era subsidies on energy and transport.

See also: Gas prices: 75% in BA say ‘too high or unpayable’

-TIMES

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