The prices of fuel increased once again Wednesday, the NNA reported.
The new prices are as follows:
20 liters of 95-octane is 302,700 LL – increased by 59,900 LL
20 liters of 98-octane is 312,700 LL – increased by 62,000 LL
20 liters of diesel oil is 270,700 LL – increased by 35,500 LL
The minimum wage in Lebanon is 675,000LL, forcing people to spend half of their income on fuel alone.
Fuel prices have incrementally increased over the last few months, the last one being a week ago, as the government slowly lifts all subsidies.
The Central Bank of Lebanon first lifted subsidies in August. They started offering credit lines for fuel imports using the market rate.
Prior to the economic collapse of 2019, the Central Bank had the currency pegged at 1,500LL to $1 for years, even though it couldn’t afford it. People used both currencies interchangeably.
To keep the peg going, the Central Bank offered high-interest rates to private banks, who in turn offered these interest rates to depositors to lure foreign deposits. Aptly called a ‘regulated Ponzi scheme,’ they kept borrowing money to pay off existing creditors.
In the meantime, the government and the Central Bank‘s debt mounted while political instability, regional conflicts, sectarian clashes, and rampant corruption hampered any chance for the economy to push forward.
The government also failed to implement reforms that could have unlocked billions in foreign aid and donations. Instead, they increased public spending when they couldn’t afford it.