By Aaron Humes: Opposition Senator Antonio Herrera, a baker by trade, has welcomed the belated arrival of the $1.5 million for bread subsidy, though he pointed out that it took 90 days from the date of Minister of Agriculture Jose Mai’s speech in the House of Representatives where he pledged that the 16-ounce loaf of bread’s controlled price would not be raised.
But is it too little, too late? As Herrera noted: “The price of flour, from since that subsidy was [announced], [has gone up] from $84 to $102.50. That’s a big increment, so the shilling got swallowed just like the holes in Corozal streets – baps, you drop it, it’s gone. So we welcome the 25 cents but we would say that is gone, that is consumed already.”
Herrera pointed out that bakers do get flour at cheaper prices than consumers (the Bebe Agua and La Gitana brands) do, but flour is as much as a staple as sliced bread because it is used to make other goods from johnny cakes and fry jacks to meat pies (which, at least in the districts, costs as much as a sliced packed bread does – $1.75).
Herrera further lamented the refusal to increase the price of the 16-ounce loaf, which has been in place since 2008.
The subsidy is expected to last for six months in the first instance.
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