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The Second Vice President of the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) believes the government effectively put the cart before the horse in recent fuel increases and could have handled the matter better.
“I believe the way they went about dealing with the increase in fuel prices it is putting the cart before the horse,” Michael Flood told St Lucia Times.
On Monday, gasoline and diesel increased from $3.07 to $3.29 per litre or $13.95 to $14.95 per gallon locally.
In addition, the LPG 100 Pound Cylinder (45.36kg) increased from $257.95 to $266.43.
Speaking to reporters on Monday after the price hikes took effect, Transport Minister Stephenson King highlighted the need to sit down with bus operators to develop a mechanism allowing them to operate at an economical rate while not affecting commuters.
However, the NCOPT Second Vice President referred to King’s suggestions at a previous meeting with the council.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that they knew there would have been an increase,” Flood declared.
As a result, he told St Lucia Times the best way of handling the issue would have been to meet with the NCOPT and not for the Transport Minister to have a telephone conversation with the council’s President, Godfrey Ferdinand, who is in the United States on vacation.
The Transport Minister had disclosed a meeting with Ferdinand on Friday.
“We had a meeting with the President of the NCOPT on Friday,” were King’s words to reporters on Monday on the sidelines of a Cabinet session.
However, Michael Flood told St Lucia Times that the former Prime Minister has a ‘huge problem’ regarding the truth.
“I, Michael Flood, there have been five or six meetings with the Minister and I, Michael Flood, refuse to sit at a meeting with Stephenson King and I’ll make it clear. This man – he has a huge problem with the truth,” the NCOPT Second Vice President declared.
Describing himself as a very straightforward individual, Flood explained that he would not want to disrespect King in the Castries North MP’s capacity as a Minister at his own Ministry.
Nevertheless, he said he understands that the Permanent Secretary had contacted the NCOPT First Vice President indicating a willingness to meet.
“That meeting is in the making,” Flood explained.
But he revealed that the council has not met with the Minister or the Ministry within the past week.
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