Fuel price hikes so soon after the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections are unacceptable, opposition parties said yesterday.
The remarks came after CPC Corp, the nation’s state-owned oil company, announced that local liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices would increase by NT$1.7 (US$0.06) per kilogram, instead of a full hike of NT$3.3 per kilogram in line with the rise in the international price of the fuel.
Natural gas for household use is also set to climb in price by NT$0.48 per cubic meter, a rise of 2.99 percent, instead of the full hike of 16.09 percent.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) deputy legislative caucus whip Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said the party would ask finance-related agency heads to report on the subject to the Legislative Yuan.
People First Party (PFP) legislative caucus convener Thomas Lee (李桐豪) suggested that LPG distributors knew about the price hikes long before CPC’s formal announcement.
Lee said that he had placed an order for LPG on Tuesday, but the company did not deliver it until after the price hike had been announced.
Meanwhile, Taiwan Solidarity Union caucus whip Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) accused the government of intentionally delaying the price hikes until after the polls.
CPC Corp said yesterday that this month’s price hike for domestic LPG and natural gas was a reflection of higher international fuel costs and it denied speculation that the price hikes were deliberately postponed until after the elections.
This month, the international price of LPG rose by 16 percent, or US$145, from a month earlier, to a historic high of US$1,025 per tonne, a CPC statement said.