The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said the government raised fuel prices to reflect increases in global fuel costs and to reduce long-term losses at state-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC), dismissing accusations by the Democratic Progressive Party that the fuel price increase had been delayed to influence the January presidential and legislative elections.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs scrapped restrictions on fuel price increases on Sunday and allowed CPC to raise the prices for gasoline and diesel.
The DPP accused the government of increasing fuel prices while failing to review CPC’s high personnel costs, and said President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration had used adjustments to fuel price policies for election purposes.
The DPP said the legislature passed DPP Legislator Pan Men-an’s (潘孟安) proposal of freezing fuel prices and subsidizing the nation’s oil products in November 2010 and that the CPC announced the policy before the five special municipality elections that month.
Following the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 14, the Ma administration lifted the cap on fuel price increases last week and the DPP said that the fuel price increase had been delayed to avoid negatively affecting the KMT’s electoral prospects.
KMT spokesperson Lai Su-ju (賴素如) responded to the DPP’s criticism, saying the fuel price freeze was announced on Dec. 6, 2010, which was after the five special municipality elections that took place on Nov. 27.
Since December 2010, the government has been subsidizing the nation’s oil products in an attempt to stabilize consumer costs by covering half of any necessary price increase.
“Fuel price adjustments are being made to reflect the global fuel price hike,” Lai said.
“The government continues to put the public’s livelihood into consideration and the DPP should not make unnecessary connections between the fuel price increases and elections,” she said.