Utility tariff hikes: Reduce and postpone to 2016 – TUC



General News of Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Source: citifmonline.com

TUC Boss Kofi Asamoah NnnnKofi Asamoah, TUC boss

The Trades Union Congress, (TUC) has asked the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to reduce and suspend the recently announced utility tariff increment until service providers achieve some stability particularly in power supply.

The PURC announced an increase in electricity and water tariffs by 59.2% and 67.2% respectively ahead of the Christmas season, to take effect from Monday December 14.

According to the PURC, it took into account the concerns of all stakeholders and had thus refused the higher increment providers demanded.

But the TUC in its statement says it expected the increment not to go beyond 50 percent. It also says any increment should be implemented in 2016.

Below is the TUC’s press statement

Organized Labour press statement on utility tariff increases

The PURC has approved new rates of utility tariffs. In a statement issued on Monday, 7th December, 2015, the PURC announced a 59.2 percent increase in electricity tariff across the board and between 69 and 89.8 percent increase in water tariff.

Our position is that PURC should have first considered the availability and reliability of power before a review of tariffs. We maintain that it is only when the people of Ghana, including workers in both formal and informal sectors of the economy, are sure of a reliable supply of power and water that they can be convinced to pay higher tariffs. Ghanaian consumers are already paying heavily for the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi and the high inflation. Real wages have fallen drastically especially since 2012.

We have been following the debate and discussions in the media since PURC announced the newly approved tariffs. The people of Ghana still doubt whether these tariff increases are going to solve the “dumsor”, as the utility providers would like us to believe.

Following our consultations with the PURC, we did not expect any increase in tariffs beyond 50 percent as against the 129 to 400 percent proposed by the utility companies, on condition that the power supply would have stabilized. We also expected the implementation of any new tariffs to start next year.

As workers, we are worried about the ever increasing utility tariffs which do not match the rate of increase in incomes. We are also concerned about the poor macro-economic performance and the technical and operational inefficiencies of the utility companies which have contributed greatly to the frequent hikes in tariffs.

We demand, as a matter of urgency, that:

(1) PURC should reduce the tariffs further;

(2) PURC should suspend the implementation of any new tariff until there is some stability in the supply of power;

(3) The utility companies must be compelled by the PURC to reduce their technical and operational inefficiencies as the condition for tariff review.

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KOFI ASAMOAH

SECRETARY GENERAL OF TUC

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ALBERT YAMOAH

GHANA FEDERATION OF LABOUR (GFL)

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AHENAKWA-QUARSHIE

GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS (GNAT)

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EMMANUEL BAAH BENIMAH

INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS’ UNION (ICU)

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CHRISTIAN ODUE

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT)

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DR. JUSTICE YANKSON

GHANA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (GMA)

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ALEX NARTEY

JUDICIAL SERVICES STAFF ASSOCIATION OF GHANA (JUSAG)

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VIDA SAPABIL

COALITION OF CONCERNED TEACHERS (CCT)

DATED: 9TH DECEMBER 2015

ACCRA

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