September 8, 2006
NOBA refuses Prime Minister’s subsidy offer

“No thank you, Mr Prime Minister.”

That was the response of the National Mini Bus Association (NOBA) to the prime minister’s offer of an increased fuel subsidy. It has also threatened a prolonged work stoppage.

Against the background of three increases in the price of diesel from $4.95 to $9.50 per gallon, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves offered to subsidise up to 286 gallons of diesel per minibus per month so as to neutralize the increases. He also announced that he will be examining the possibility of a subsidy on tyres but rejected NOBA’s request for waiving vehicle licences.{{more}}

NOBA has said thanks, but no thanks. They remain adamant that it is a fare increase that will save them from the economic doldrums.

NOBA’s public relations officer Len Grant told Searchlight that his organisation has embarked on a public awareness campaign to explain their stance. He said that after two meetings with the Prime Minister there is still a wholesale clamor among its members for strike action to be taken but the organisation is

taking its time with those plans.

“When we next strike it will be bigger and more sustained,” Grant stated, adding that they will first launch a public relations campaign to sensitise the public on the reasons for their rejection of the government’s offer.