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Absorb electricity, water tariff increment or use COVID-19 levy to cover it – CPP to government

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Thu, 18 Aug 2022 Source:

The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) has called on the government to absorb the 27.15 percent electricity tariff and 21 percent water tariff increment recently announced by the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC).

According to the CPP, the increment of tariffs which takes effect from September 1, 2022, should be absorbed by the government because they will increase the current difficulties Ghanaians are facing.

In a statement issued on August 16, the party also advised the government to use proceeds from the COVID-19 levy it is still collecting to cover.

“The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) is of the view that considering the current economic hardships, the Akufo–Addo/Bawumia-led government should absorb the current Electricity Tariff increase of 27.15% and water tariff of 21% by providing the Utility Providers with the needed financial support for the smooth running of their operations till such a time that the current dwindling and harsh economic situation is solved by the government.

“With the rising cost of living, Ghanaians cannot add on the burden of a tariff increase in electricity and water, such a move would erode completely the household income of most Ghanaians who cannot even bear to have one square meal a day and the effect of high transport fares, a rise in food prices, hikes in the prices of fuel and other commodities. Indeed, we are in dire straits.

“It is being recommended that as Government used the proceeds from the COVID-19 levy to pay for the Free Water and Electricity provided during the height of the COVID 19 pandemic, and since the COVID-19 levy has not been scrapped, it is therefore imperative that Government uses the proceeds accruable till now from this tax system to support the Utility Service Providers (Water and Electricity) in their operations till the economic situation improves,” parts of the statement read.

The party also asked the PURC to explain the rationale behind its recategorization of electricity consumers who are considered lifeline consumers from the bracket of 35 – 50 units to a higher tariff band of 0 – 300 units.

It also questioned why some categories of business, including Restaurants, Banks, Television and Radio Stations, were excluded from the Small-Scale industries which are to benefit from lower tariffs.

The PURC, at a press conference addressed by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, on Monday, in addition to the announcement of the tariff increment, also disclosed that residential utility consumers will now pay more for electricity and water.

“The Commission gave considerable thought to the role of small and medium-scale enterprises in the country’s economic development, in particular, the creation and/or preservation of jobs and livelihoods. The existing tariff is structured in a manner that slaps industry with punitive tariffs in order to subsidize residential consumers of electricity. This structure has contributed to the loss of competitiveness of Ghanaian industry, including small and medium-sized household enterprises. The implications for jobs and the general welfare of residential consumers are adverse and obvious.

“To address the challenge, for the first time, businesses, including small and medium scale business owners of Hairdressing and Beauty Parlours/Salons, Barbering Shops, Tailoring and Dress Making Shops, Welding, Mechanics, Cold stores, Chop bars, Vulcanising and Carpentry Workshops among others, will now pay lower tariffs than the residential consumer class,” the commission said.

Read the full statement issued by the CPP blow:

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