Wishful thinking

Wishful thinking

Gasoline went up by 47 Netherlands Antillean guilder cents per litre over the weekend, an inevitable hike based on global oil prices since the last one on April 11. Thankfully diesel fuel dropped by 13 cents, which means lower expenses for most heavy vehicle owners including transporters of goods and bus drivers.That is a bit of good news but won’t stop consumer prices in general from continuing to rise due to major production, supply and shipment issues because of – among other things – firstly the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact and now that of Russia invading Ukraine. Efforts are being made to get, for example, grain out of the latter area known as “the breadbasket of Europe” that would help curb food shortages and cost, but with war still raging doing so is obviously difficult at best.
Locally there are plans to expand the basket of essentials with maximum prices from 12 to 72 items (see Thursday paper) but this decision must still go into effect so it is yet unclear how grocery bills will be affected. The reality also remains that businesses cannot be expected to sell anything at a loss.
People ought to understand that there is no escaping this worldwide, far-reaching crisis and find ways to make ends meet, by becoming more price-conscious and perhaps adjusting their shopping as well as eating and drinking habits. Expecting government to solve the entire problem would be unrealistic and – quite frankly – wishful thinking.
As for fuel, the promised temporary removal of part of in total 59 cents in import duty and turnover tax (twice) on gasoline may be expected this week, according to the latest update. That should provide at least some relief for motorists, although another international increase ahead certainly can’t be ruled out.
So here too, adapting one’s behaviour by driving more efficiently and only when needed makes sense. Try carpooling to and from school and work, walking or cycling if close by and taking the bus instead for longer distances, which is probably cheaper at this point.

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