The government would factor in the public’s opinions when considering increases in the price of oil and the floating oil price mechanism that has been used to set the price on the first day of each month, a senior official with the Cabinet said yesterday.
“How people feel about rising oil prices is definitely a concern the agency in charge of [deciding the price] will take into account, as ‘listening to the voice of the public before finalizing policies’ is one of the administration’s guidelines,” said the official, who wished to remain anonymous.
The official was referring to an announcement made by Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) in which, while giving general comments on a two-day Cabinet workshop that ended on Friday, Liu said the government would take public opinion into consideration.
The official made the remarks in response to a report in yesterday’s United Daily Evening News that said Executive Yuan Secretary-General Hsueh Hsiang-chuan (薛香川) recently met a political commentator and frequent talk show guest Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏) to discuss the oil price issue.
The report said Hsueh agreed with Yang that oil prices should not only be set to reflect the cost of purchase, because the issue was also political.
Saying that Hsueh’s meeting with the talk show guest was not only about oil prices but also other topics, the official added that Cabinet officials often met media personnel and people from all walks of life.
The floating oil price mechanism, reinstated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration in late May after being frozen for six months by the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party, links domestic fuel prices to benchmark prices of West Texas Intermediate crude in New York.