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Friday, January 13, 2012

Marine Atlantic rate increases heavy-handed and unnecessary

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, January 13, 2012 – marine Atlantic announced increases to consumers and businesses yesterday to take effect this February, and that doesn’t hold well with George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“We have always asked for the federal government to insulate Newfoundland and Labrador consumers and businesses from facing artificial increases in inflation rates caused by any rate increase from this important service, but they have yet to step up to the plate to cover Marine Atlantic’s budget to prevent this from happening to consumers. All they had to do was make a small addition to the Marine Atlantic budget to prevent anything being handed down to us, but they missed an opportunity to maintain a level playing field for consumers.” Murphy said.

“My understanding is that inflation over this past year has run well under the four percentage points that Marine Atlantic has increases prices to travelers and business alike. They adjusted rates excessively as the inflation rate sits at 2.9 percentage points presently with inflation rates at 1.9 percentage points for all of 2010. Marine Atlantic needs to explain the four percentage points they have come up with, and the federal government needs to explain why it doesn’t top up the budget of Marine Atlantic rather than treating the ferry service across the Gulf like it is a toll highway. Now, the federal government is compounding inflationary pressures to Newfoundland and Labrador consumers by treating the service as a ‘stand-alone’ service when it simply cannot be. This is our marine highway and it’s time to make the proper strategic investment in it”.

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For more information, contact;

George Murphy

Group researcher/Member

Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

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