The Minority in Parliament has taken a swipe at government for the current increases in utility tariffs; electricity and water stating that it would worsen the already difficult economic hardship of Ghanaians, particularly so when the performance of the cedi against other major trading currencies keeps deteriorating. They noted that 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 Minority in a statement signed by John Abdulai Jinapor, Ranking Member, Mines and Energy Committee said “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”.
Even more troubling is the fact that prior to this electricity tariff increment, “Petroleum products at the pumps have witnessed a colossal 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%”.
They also debunked 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 falls 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%. It should be noted that the bulk of residential consumers fall within the 0-300 kWh bracket and will therefore be adversely affected by the 34% adjustment”.
In view of this, the Minority is calling on the government to take measures to cushion Ghanaians who are going through unimaginable hardships with ever worsening poverty levels. They argued that government has made unexpected windfall of about USD500,000 from Ghana’s share of petroleum resources from crude exports which accrued in the 2022 mid-year budget statement, which can be used to cushion the struggling masses.