There is a limit to utility tariff Ghanaians can pay-TUC

Trades Union Congress (TUC) says there is a limit to the amount of tariff Ghanaians could pay and any review should take into account the plight of the working people.

“Yes you may be talking about a review but this must take into account what the workers can afford. The bottom line is that there is a limit to what people can pay and it is extremely important that we draw attention to that,” Secretary General of the TUC, Kofi Asamoah told a consultative forum of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) in Accra at the weekend.

Mr Asamoah said while the TUC noticed that there are several challenges, which are beyond the control of the utility companies such as the depreciation of the cedi and the management of the economy, the increases being sought must be within what the working people and Ghanaians can afford.

The utility companies Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Volta River Authority, (VRA) as well as the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) have called for a major tariff review, proposing more than a 100 per cent increment in tariffs for 2015.

GRIDCO is asking for 5.31 pesewas per Kwh from a current charge of 4.1 pesewas while the Volta River Authority is asking for approximately 31 pesewas per Kwh from 14.6 pesewas.

The ECG is also seeking a tariff of 35.5 pesewas per unit from 16.5 pesewas while the GWCL is asking for a raise from 1.78 to 4 cedis for 200 gallons.

He said there is the need to justify how the previous increases in utility tariffs are used and as well as some efficiency with your consumer services.

“You can be sure that we will join the PURC to say no to the huge monies you are asking for the bottom line is that there is a limit to what people can pay,” he said.

Mr Asamoah said the TUC would go back based on the information provided and send a formal position paper to the PURC to guide them to either accept or reject the proposal for tariff increases.

The PURC has been holding nationwide broad consultations with various interest groups to solicit views to inform its decision on the major tariff review. GNA

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