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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hi to all...
Here's what I have for this week's price changes, along with some "news" from the markets for this week.
George
Provincial taxes off heat
One small victory will lead to another

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, April 19, 2011- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will experience a slight change in some prices this week when the Public Utilities Board adjusts prices this Thursday. That's according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

Heating fuels show "down"
"Markets are jittery and it shows in the numbers. I'm tracking price volatility that doesn't show growth or retreat in oil's future," Murphy said. "Oil showed a retreat two weeks ago, but has remained steady since then with only slight movement in refined commodities. The volatility is telling me that economic news is keeping oil steady as the markets are unsure of where the economy is going. Stove oils show 92/100ths down and that may be pointing the way for heating oils."

Numbers show slight change for transportation fuels
"The numbers are also close to that one cent change-over with the transportation fuels as well with diesel showing a 1.1 cent a litre drop and gasoline up by 1.3 cents. Diesel fuel is probably backing down slightly as a result of the performance of other distillates like heating and stove oils and may, in fact, be somewhat more than this number as a result of kerosene prices being dragged down as well. Gasoline is most likely up as a result of entering the time of year for the run-up in prices as we get nearer to the traditional start of the US summer driving season and a draw-down in gasoline inventories last reporting session."

Province drops their take on HST
"Good news in this budget for consumers of heat. Our work is now half done.The province dropped the collection of the province's portion of the HST today after our group's push to have the tax removed nearly fourteen years ago (1997) and one petition ago (March, 2001). To say that we're happy about this budget move is an understatement and to have the NDP and the party's leader, Ms. Lorraine Michael take up the charge on the issue several years ago (2003) helped push the issue to the hearts and minds of Newfoundland and Labrador consumers, and kept the issue in the limelight. But she also managed to keep the rebate in place, making the province follow the province of Saskatchewan in having both the tax removed from heat, and also ensuring the continuation of a rebate program for those who need it most."

"She deserves the gratitude of the province for that."

Federal portion needs to be addressed
"It's soon time to turn the focus of the HST on heat issue to the federal government. We know that the federal wing of the NDP has the removal of the tax on heat as part of their platform, but it is time to get rid of the HST on it for good. The fact that we now have three provinces without a tax on heat where previously all had it, should be mandate enough to have the tax removed from this necessity of life for all Canadians. If, after this election is over, the federal portion of this tax is not addressed, then I promise all consumers in this country that there will be a petition drive started to get a "Cross Canada consensus" to have the tax removed, once and for all."

"Spread the word. I'll be looking for help."

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

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