Govt, labour meeting over utility tariff hikes ends in deadlock

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.


Organised labour and other interest groups have reiterated the need for a reduction in utility tariffs.

This was after a meeting between government and Organized Labour over concerns surrounding the hikes in utility tariffs on Tuesday.

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.


Employment minister, Haruna Iddrisu had expressed hopes that a consensus on the way forward towards concerns raised would be reached at the meeting on Tuesday.

But, Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress, Kofi Asamoah has told Accra-based Citi FM, the meeting ended in a deadlock.

"Government tried to do some explanations as to why there was the need for the utility hikes. Beyond that, labour also took a position on the newly introduced energy sector levies. First of all we made it clear that they were undemocratically rushed through Parliament and there were no public consultations held and that it’s going to worsen the plights of Ghanaians. Government tried to also justify why they needed such taxes raised,” he said.

Mr. Kofi Asamoah added that the meeting “did not really conclusively agree on any principle except some specific issues that were raised and we are supposed to meet will hear from us when we find out that what we are asking for is not being met.”

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission had earlier met with the TUC and Consumer Protection Agency over the matter. The meeting, however, failed to come out with an amicable solution.


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