'It's a bit of a kick in the pants': Gas price researcher predicts 4-cent spike

'It's a bit of a kick in the pants': Gas price researcher predicts 4-cent spike

Wednesday might be a good time to fill up on gas.

Independent gas price researcher George Murphy is predicting a price increase of at least four cents per litre on Thursday.

"It's a bit of a sharp spike and it's a bit of a kick in the pants, a kick in the wallet," said Murphy, who's also a taxi driver.

"It doesn't pick up on volatility so it could be more than that, but the numbers are showing four cents a litre up for gas. The stove oil number is up by 2.7 cents a litre, heating oil is up by 2.7 cents a litre as well, and diesel is up by, well my numbers are showing by 2.8."

Murphy said the jump isn't unexpected, with the price of oil rising and the warmer weather in parts of the United States getting people travelling again. 

"You'd hardly tell by the weather here, but everywhere else — particularly in the U.S. — the weather is warming up quite nicely and people are starting to get back in behind the wheel, and that's enough to drive the inventories."

At some pumps in the centre of St. John's Wednesday, gas was listed as above $1.27 a litre. Murphy said in Halifax the price is $1.02. 

"So there's huge disparity here and a lot of it happens to be with government," said Murphy, a former New Democrat MHA.

Budget day 

Thursday's price increase coincides with the release of the 2017 provincial budget. In last year's budget, the tax on gasoline doubled.

"That's the hard part about all this too, we're getting a lump particularly from the gasoline tax. We were already seeing 16.5 cents plus on top of 16.5 cents that we were initially paying. Then we also have the HST on top of that. It adds up to about 21 cents by the time you figure it all out," Murphy said.

"We would certainly like to see some sort of drop when it comes to seeing the provincial take on gasoline taxes. Not expecting it, but I'm not going to be surprised either at the same time if that does happen."