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Business News Mon, 30 Sep 2013

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TUC blasts gov’t over tariff hikes

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has described government’s approach to utility price management as unfair to the people of Ghana which demonstrates selfishness on the part of governments (both present and past).

Organised Labour made this assertion following the recent increase in tariffs by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) which would take effect on October 1, this year. Water and electricity tariffs are to go up by 52 percent and 78.9 percent respectively.

“Workers and Ghanaians in general will be unduly overburdened by these increases. “The Trades Union Congress (TUC) – Ghana is shocked by the news that the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has announced yet another astronomical increase in utility tariffs.”

It continued: “Electricity tariff has been increased by 78.9 percent while water tariff has gone up by 52 percent. These increases have come at a time when government could only afford to increase public sector pay by just 10 percent and when wages have already been negotiated. We also are in a period when all other prices including fuel and transport have been pushed up well beyond the pocket of the average Ghanaian.”

However, it said TUC, and for that matter the working people of Ghana, were not opposed to tariff adjustment.

“We have consistently called on government to review tariffs as and when the fundamentals of the tariff structure change and warrant adjustments – upward or downwards. We made this point in 2010, the last year in which such massive increases were announced.

“Unfortunately, government, knowing and pursuing its own political interests, chose not to implement what all stakeholders agreed was the best way forward. With the political interests achieved, the people of Ghana are now being called upon to bear the costs of political expediency.”

The TUC added that it will consult it structures in due course and act appropriately.

Source: Daily Guide Network

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