At this rate, we might soon hear a new catchphrase from street boys: “Cocaine…… Because its cheaper than sniffing petrol”
I know it is easier to blame the government for all the taxes they load onto petrol – and the other notorious sin tax goods – but is it really that simple? Obviously, I also loathe the narrow mindedness of KRA who have not seen the need to broaden their tax base, but I question the honesty of other players in the whole oil and transport business.
Think about this: If, for purposes of this little weblog, we assume a 40 seater bus does 12Km to a litre and the average distance from town to a typical estate is 24Km; buses would then use about 2Litres for a one way trip. So if fuel prices go up by 10 bob, the total increase in cost per trip for the PSV bus is 20 bob, yet every passenger is charged an extra 10 bob, as a result of which the conductor collects an extra 360 bob and blames the government. Passengers say nothing and blame the government too.
Even with the argument that, due to traffic jams and time wasted waiting for passengers, buses end up using twice the amount of fuel than would be average for cruising, the increase in cost to the PSV is, at most, about Shs 50; how can this justify the extra Shs 350 to Shs 1,000 the PSVs make at the passengers expense?
PS. This is the same warped logic used by Bars: KBL increases prices by Shs. 5, and this in no way affects the running costs of bars, yet instead of said Bars passing on just the Shs 5 extra cost to consumers they add their own Shs 5 to 15 so that beer prices then go up by Shs 10 to Shs 20. Then we blame KBL and the government.
Ultimately the consumer pays the extra cost and with it a hefty increase to the margins of service providers in the transport industry, yet the same idiots, like Kimutai of Matatu Welfare association, have the nerve to come on TV crying crocodile tears about how they will be forced to pass on the extra cost of transportation to consumers, as if it pains them to make extra cash at the poor commuters expense while pointing the finger at the government and oil companies.
Wake up, the matatu and transport industry thrive on these fuel increases, they probably pray for them seeing how much of a windfall they bring their grubby hands. In fact you’re better off taking the train to work than handing over your money to the gloating hypocrites in the matatu industry.
PS. If you drive a personal car and find a difference in your daily expenses of Sh. 50 to Sh. 100 to be unbearable, am sorry to inform you that you actually can’t afford to operate a car in the first place. Not saying fuel prices should be arbitrary, just pointing out the fact most Kenyans who own cars shouldn’t actually own them.