Gov’t can and must cushion Ghanaians – Minority rejects tariff increases

The Minority in Parliament says with the benefit of the hugely anticipated $500,000 windfall from the country’s share of petroleum products, Ghanaians should have been cushioned from upward adjustments of utility tariffs in the face of the current economic hardship.

The caucus insists that government “can and must do something to cushion Ghanaians who are going through unimaginable hardships with ever worsening poverty levels under the Akufo-Addo/Bawumiah led government”.

This was contained in a statement issued on Monday, August 15 in reaction to the upward adjustments of utility tariffs.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) had earlier announced increase in water and electricity tariffs by 21.55 and 27.15 percent respectively, effective Thursday, September 1.

But the statement signed by Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee John Abdulai Jinapor said even the 27.15 percent for electricity is far below the rate as per the caucus’s calculations.

“A critical look at the tariff structure as announced reveals that all residential consumers who falls between 0-300 kWh bracket have witnessed a price increase from GHp/kWh 65.4161 to GHp/kWh89.0422, representing an increment of almost 34%.

“It should be noted that the bulk of residential consumers fall within the 0-300 kWh bracket and will therefore be adversely affected by the 34% adjustment.”

The Minority said in the face of high cost of living as well as the increased consumption in petroleum products, there is the need for government to meet consumers half-way just like the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government did in 2016.

“We are of the strongest conviction that Government can and must do something to cushion Ghanaians who are going through unimaginable hardships with ever worsening poverty levels under the Akufo-Addo/Bawumiah led government.

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“It will be recalled that following the major tariff review in 2016, the NDC Government intervened, resulting in a reduction of the rate of increment by close to 50%.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana