i) They have stop subsidising since Nov 1, and
ii) At the old rate of RM1.92 per litre, they still have "surplus".
From the little the Government has revealed when the crude oil prices fall below USD65 per barrel, they have stopped subsidising our pump prices. As of today, it is about USD55.25 per barrel. Imagine if the fuel prices continue to fall to USD30 per barrel as some predicted (which I personally doubt it will go that low).
Anyway, I wonder if the Government will continue lowering the pump prices? We can see now they somehow didn't lower it to RM1.92 despite their clear ability to do so...
I mentioned in my previous entry, "No floor please..." in support for the removal of pump price subsidy under the general idea that it should be left to market forces to dictate the pricing. But to burden the people by excessively taxing them under the pretext that the Government is more efficient in allocating resources to the needy, that is a very bad notion. Like I previously suggested, why not just impose a clear cut consumption tax or at least reveal the formula and input data?
I wonder if this hidden tax requires an amendment to the Income Tax or Excise Tax Acts since effectively they are now collecting taxes? Would there be any dissenting MPs who dare to voice this up on hidden taxes the rakyat has to bear?
The ones to be bear the brunt are again the poor.
UPDATE @ 6:13 PM:
From the Malaysiakini article, "Shahrir: No need for petrol subsidies", I have extracted the following:
He added that the government might still make a "a bit of income" if prices shrink back to pre-June 5 prices of RM1.92 for RON97.
"The petrol subsidies disappeared once the global price of crude oil went down to US$65 per barrel," said Shahrir, explaining that the price is now around US$55 per barrel.
At present, the cost price of RON97 is below RM1.61, said the minister. This means that consumers are currently paying 39 sen above the actual price.
Shahrir said even after considering the 19 and 12 sen revenue per litre going to the energy companies and kiosk operators respectively - the government can still marginally profit from pump prices at the RM1.92 per litre level.
So technically, if we take the 39 sen excess we are paying to minus out the payments going to energy companies and kiosk operators, there will be an excess of 8 sen. This, at RM1.92 per litre (RM1.61 plus 19 sen plus 12 sen), translates to 4.2% discretionary hidden tax imposed on all motorists using RON97.
That is assuming it is based on a "current actual price" which we will never know unless the Government graciously tells us. And yes, perhaps they need the Cabinet to declassify the information too as it might be under OSA. Sigh...