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13% residential tariff reduction negligible; Jinapor wants more

The Member of Parliament for Yapei/Kusawgu Constituency in the Northern Region, John Abdulai Jinapor, has challenged government to remove the 17% tax component on electricity for residential consumers.

He said the 13% reduction announced by the Finance Minister in the 2018 budget statement on Wednesday is woefully inadequate and would not be impactful if the tax is allowed to stay.

The Yapei/Kusawgu MP was contributing to discussions on the 2018 budget on TV3’s New Day on Thursday.

The Finance Minister had explained that the reduction is “to give relief to the poor whose individual consumption actually falls in the subsidised life-line category but who live in a compound house, the existing 4-tier tariff classification of residential consumers will be collapsed into Lifeline and Non-Lifeline consumers in phases”.

Although the former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, has commended the government’s economic management team and the Energy Minister for the reduction, John Jinapor is not impressed.

The NDC MP, John Abdulai Jinapor told the New Day host, Bright Nana Amfoh that “the tax component of 17% of residential consumption must be taken off”.

The MP also faulted the NPP government of usurping the power of the tariff regulator, noting, “it is not the mandate of the government to set tariffs.”

“The PURC has the mandate so stop meddling in the affairs of the PURC…government doesn’t have the legitimacy to set the tariffs. Government has no business in tariff methodology. Is it proper to engage the PURC. Run it with the PURC to determine the reduction”.

The NDC legislator doubted that the tariff reduction would take effect in January 2018.

“Tariffs will not go down in January and I am throwing that challenge to you. Call me here on 16th January and I will tell you tariffs have not gone down”.

The Member of Parliament Effutu Constituency in the Central Central Region, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, who was also on the show, admitted that “any programme that the government would want to follow need legislative backing but the pessimists had thought that we could not do most of the things we have done”.

He said the “electricity reduction will support entrepreneurs and that will create more jobs. This is not a government that will look for problems before it acts”.

“January is not far away and Ghanaians needs to be patient to judge this government on its actions”, he said.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|TV3|3news.com|Ghana

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