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Electricity tariff increment could stir ‘social unrest’- TUC to PURC

The Trades Union Congress, Ghana (TUC) has advised the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to ignore recommendations by Fitchner Management Consulting, to review the electricity tariff structure of the country.

TUC fears any attempt to review the tariff structure as recommended by the report on the tariff study, will lead to some form of resistance from the public.

“We would like to advise PURC to ignore this recommendation because if tariffs are increased to such levels it could lead to social unrest”, the union said in a statement.

The union noted a tariff study conducted by Fitchner Management Consulting which was funded by the Millennium Challenge Cooperation and Millennium Development Authority recommended that the four consumption blocks of the residential customers should be reduced to two consumption blocks of 0-50kWh and 51kWh+.

This, the union explains, meant a review in the tariff structure which they argue can lead to over 400% increase in tariffs for small residential customers from GH¢0.39 /kWh to GH¢1.97 /kWh.

They maintained a review would also mean “removal of cross-subsidies” which will burden consumers, hence the advise to ignore the recommendation.

Meanwhile, the union is also urging the utilities regulator to ensure the ECG concession, which is almost completed, will not lead to higher tariffs.

While the union expects a reduction in the prices of fuel and natural gas, it is proposing a further reduction of electricity tariff by 15 percent and a reduction in water tariff by 12 percent.

The call of TUC comes barely hours to the presentations of the 2019 budget which the President had hinted will give hope to Ghanaians.

source:ghanaweb.com

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