Government, Organised Labour meet over utility hikes

Government is expected to meet with organized labour later Tuesday to discuss concerns raised over the recent utility price hikes.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) announced an increase of 59.2 percent in water tariffs and 67.2 percent in the tariff for electricity.

The PURC explained that the increase was arrived at after careful scrutiny of proposals submitted various utility providers.

Subsequently, Organised labour in a statement signed by the Trades Union Congress, called for a suspension of the utility tariffs, until service providers are assured availability and reliability of power.

The statement added that “following our consultations with the PURC, we did not expect any increase in tariffs beyond 50 percent as against the 129 to 400 percent proposed by the utility companies, on condition that the power supply would have stabilized. We also expected the implementation of any new tariffs to start next year.”

Labour Relations Minister Haruna Iddrisu told Joy News the meeting will explore ways of cushioning Ghanaians against the shocks of the adjustments.

“On the 5th of January, we will engage. Government does not intend to continue to absorb subsidies within that particular industry. But we would appreciate that we need to make those tariffs affordable to the populace…We need to get a middle ground to get out of this,” he said.

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