The People First Party (PFP) slammed the government yesterday over its decision to raise fuel prices substantially beginning today, saying that giving such short notice of the increase would be problematic.
In its statement, the PFP said that increasing fuel prices by about 10 percent would have a significant impact on the transportation and logistics sectors and lead to higher consumer prices.
“This will make life more difficult for people whose salaries have remained unchanged,” it said.
The government should instead have raised prices in stages to allow the public more time to adjust, PFP legislative caucus convener Lee Tung-hao (李桐豪) said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, party officials also urged the government to factor in the country’s economic situation when deciding whether to raise fuel prices.
The PFP statement came shortly after the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that domestic unleaded gasoline prices would be increased by between NT$2.3 (US$0.078) and NT$3.6 per liter, or between 7 and 11 percent, beginning today.
State-run oil company CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 中油) had previously adjusted domestic gasoline prices on a weekly basis depending on price fluctuations in the global crude oil market, usually by a fraction of a New Taiwan dollar.
However, as international crude prices rose higher in recent months, CPC absorbed part of the cost increases, causing losses that the government deemed unsustainable.
PFP officials said the party was considering forming a committee that would invite legislators, experts and academics in related fields to participate in the process of deciding appropriate rates for fuel, electricity, gas and water.