Negotiations Govt to meet Organised labour on Jan 5 over utility tariff hikes

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) on December 7, 2015 announced hikes in both electricity and water tariffs by 59.2% and 67.2% respectively.

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Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu play

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu

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Government is set to meet with Organised labour and other interest groups on January 5, 2016 over concerns surrounding the hikes in utility tariffs.

Employment Minister, Haruna Iddrisu who confirmed this to Accra-based Joy FM, said President Mahama has requested for a dialogue between government and Ghana Employment Association, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Trades Union Congress.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) on December 7, 2015 announced hikes in both electricity and water tariffs by 59.2% and 67.2% respectively.

RELATED: Electricity up by 59.2%, water 67.2%

Organised labour had subsequently 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."

RELATED: Suspend implementation of new utility tariffs - TUC

Employment minister, Haruna Iddrisu is however hopeful that a consensus on the way forward towards concerns raised would be reached at the meeting.

"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 added.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission had earlier met with the TUC and Consumer Protection Agency over the matter. The meeting, however, ended in a deadlock.

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