Anger grows in Indonesia over fuel price hike

STORY: Thousands of people rallied in Indonesia's biggest cities on Tuesday (September 6).

They demanded that the government reverse its first subsidized fuel price increase in eight years.

The hike comes while the country deals with soaring inflation.

Deni Furkon protested in Jakarta.

“Clearly for Indonesian workers, we refuse the fuel hike price decision by the government. Because when the fuel price is higher, all other prices will increase including electricity, food and so forth. Meanwhile, our wages do not increase which is not fair for us. Plus the current Omnibus Law keeps us stuck, with no increase in wages.”

President Joko Widodo said on Saturday (September 3) he had little choice but to cut the fuel subsidy and allow prices to rise by about 30%

It comes as the government faces pressure to control a mounting energy subsidy budget.

Unions say the prices will hurt workers and the urban poor the most.

Demonstrations have been led by students and labor groups, who have also called for an increase in the minimum wage.

Subsidized fuel is a sensitive issue in Indonesia.

The government has aimed to soften the blow through compensation measures for 20 million households, including direct cash transfers.