The Minority in Parliament has cautioned the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) against deceiving Ghanaians on the actual utility tariff hikes for electricity and water.
“Firstly, we wish to debunk the misleading conclusion that the PURC has increased the Electricity tariffs by 27% for all consumers.
“A critical look at the tariff structure as announced reveals that all residential consumers who fall 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%,” the ranking member on Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, John Abdulai Jinapor stated.
He further explained that the bulk of residential consumers fall within the 0-300 kWh bracket and will therefore be adversely affected by the 34% adjustment.
The ranking member noted that the increment is on account of the worsening Ghana Cedi against other major trading currencies.
According to him, the Cedi has in recent times witnessed a free fall-reaching almost 50% and currently rated amongst the worst performing currencies in the world.
“The country is already reeling under a galloping inflation estimated at about 32% thus, this utility tariff increment will only exacerbate the current high cost of living and will thus worsen the plight of the already impoverished Ghanaian.
Prior to these electricity tariff increments, Petroleum products at the pumps have witnessed a collosal increment of about 100%. So far the Energy Debt Recovery Levy has seen an increase of 20%; the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy is up by 40%. The Unified Petroleum Pricing Formula has been increased by 164%, whilst the BOST margin has been increased from 3 Pesewas to 9 Pesewas representing 200% increase. As if this is not enough, the fuel marking margin levy has also been increased by another 233%,” he added.
The MP for Yapei-Kusawgu explained that the situation is against the background that the volume of petroleum products consumed has increased by 35% from 4 billion litres to 5.5 billion litres.
“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.
“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%. We have also taken note of government’s announcement that an unexpected windfall of about USD500,000 from Ghana’s share of petroleum resources was accrued in the 2022 mid-year budget statement.”
According to him, the statement means the government is making huge unanticipated revenues from crude exports hence the need to cushion the suffering masses from these windfalls.
“Finally, we wish to caution the PURC to refrain from capturing the AKSA plant which has had its contract tenure expired in the price build-up since that will be illegal,” he added.