Several concerned citizens and expatriates have expressed objection to the intention of government to increase the prices of fuel, especially after Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have taken a similar step. They stressed the decision will cause untold hardship to low income earners.
A Kuwaiti man Jassem Obaid Al-Thufairi said increasing the price of fuel will decrease the rate of traffic congestion in the country. He agreed that government has the right to take any step it deems fit to fix budget deficit.
Another Kuwaiti Abu Abdullah protested the hike in prices of fuel for several reasons. He reasoned that several expatriate workers cannot go to their offices without using cars and the government has the right to reduce the number of cars on the roads but complained that the government has not provided alternatives like constructing railway line, underground metro and expanded the public road networks.
An expatriate respondent Ahmad Fathi stressed that both low income earner citizens and expatriates will suffer from the fuel prices increase. He asserted the increase will lead to skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs since the majority of vehicles on the roads use fuel rather than solar.
According to Redha Hosni, the monthly cost of fuelling his car stood at an average of KD 25, and any increase in the price of fuel will raise it to about KD 40. He affirmed that the situation will be difficult for him to handle, especially as he pays the house rent through the nose. He added the children’s school fees and monthly feeding allowance have been consuming a major part of his salary.
In her response, Suad Nasser stated that she does not own a car, but increasing the prices of fuel will lead to high cost of taxi. She is already paying KD 1.5 to reach her office. She is of the view that taxi companies will be the primary beneficiaries of any such increase, because she may pay KD 2.5 for the same distance if the policy is finally implemented.
Contributing to the debate, a taxi driver Mahmoud Rajab said taxi drivers will be forced to raise the cost of dropping passengers in case prices of fuel are increased. He also said the taxi offices collect KD 4 per day, and he only keeps a small amount for himself, so the new prices of fuel will cost him more and he’ll be forced to increase the fare.