The most recent hike in fuel price is set to disproportionately impact low-income households that largely rely on kerosene for their daily needs, including cooking and lighting in Kenya. This predicament paints a grim picture of the struggles these households will face in their struggle to make ends meet.
In the latest adjustment announced by the Energy & Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), prices for super petrol, diesel, and kerosene have been increased by Sh3.40, Sh6.40, and Sh15.19 per litre respectively. This means that a litre of super petrol will now cost Sh182.70, while diesel will be retailing at Sh168.40. The most significant change, however, has been made to the cost of kerosene, which has soared to Sh161.13 per litre, a steep rise that is bound to impact the affordability of this essential commodity for low-income families.
Compounding the situation is the removal of the subsidy on Diesel and Kerosene. This was a significant form of relief for these households and its absence will doubtlessly increase the economic strain on these families.
According to EPRA’s announcement, these revised fuel price will come into effect for a period of one month, starting from May 15, 2023, until June 14, 2023. This period will provide a crucial window to observe and understand the full impact of these price changes on the lives of everyday citizens.
EPRA also clarified in their notice that the new prices are inclusive of the 8% Value Added Tax (VAT) as specified under the provisions of the Finance Act of 2018, the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act 2020, and the revised rates for excise duty adjusted for inflation as stated in Legal Notice No. 194 of 2020.
The implications of this price hike extend far beyond the pump, impacting household budgets and potentially limiting access to essential energy for cooking, heating, and lighting for those who are already economically disadvantaged. As we await the impact of these changes, the question on everyone’s mind is how these households will adapt to the increased cost of living, and what measures can be taken to alleviate their burden.