Spio-Garbrah Criticises Utility Tariff Hikes

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Trade and Industry Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has described utility tariff increases as ‘incredibly outrageous’, noting it was an imprudent strategy in an election year.

“It is curious that many of these charges are coming in the first month of an election year….why have some of these institutions waited for an election year and all of a sudden we hear incredibly outrageous rates…”?, the minister asked Joy News.

He recommended that the tariff should have been spread over the years instead of the sharp increases especially when government has a tough election to fight.

Since the beginning of the year, consumers have been complaining about 59 percent increase in electricity and 67 percent increase for water. A 10 percent charge on electricity was added but left unannounced by PURC, leaving consumers even more bitter about the adjustments.

The Minister, expressed displeasure about the increases and warned the utility tariff increases would kill local businesses.

“There is no point in killing the goose that is laying the golden egg. You might think you are doing a good job by just raising revenue but you are killing the whole economy,” he pointed out.

He questioned the rationale behind the increases and expressed disappointment that as a stakeholder, his ministry was not consulted.
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