MSJ slams proposed electricity rate increases

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

David Abdulah. – Photo by Roger Jacob

THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) is condemning an increase in electricity rates being proposed by the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC).

Last month, the commission announced the proposal which could see an increase of between 15 and 64 per cent, depending on consumption, as well as other changes like switching to a monthly billing cycle instead of every two months.

The RIC also proposed three changes to residential rates, including a monthly billing cycle instead of a bill every two months, a widening of the tiers of consumption for payments, and the introduction of a fourth consumption tier – higher than 1,400 kilowatt-hours (kWh).

The first tier, 0-200 kWh, would have a proposed charge of 28 cents per kWh, tier two, from 200-700 kWh, would have an electricity charge of 40 cents. From 700-1,400 kWh, there would be a charge of 54 cents and greater than 1,400 kWh would have a suggested charge of 68 cents

At a virtual news conference on Sunday, MSJ political leader David Abdulah described the proposed increases as “unconscionable and uncaring.”

He was concerned that the proposed increases were coming at a time when many people have not received increases in salaries for the last nine years and others are unemployed.

Abdulah believed there would be a knock-on effect of increases in the prices of food and non-food items as different businesses pass on the increased electricity rates they would be paying to their consumers.

He also believed the RIC did not look at the manner in which electricity is generated and transmitted in TT before making its proposal to increase electricity rates.

“There are some elephants in the room.”

Abdulah said the MSJ will be writing to the RIC to outline its views on the proposed electricity rate increase.

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