GWI to roll out another increase in water rates

GWI to roll out another increase in water rates

first_img– FITUG says increase will be additional burdenFollowing a decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last year, Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is expected to introduce another increase in its water rates.This did not sit well with the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), which described the move as “another burden”.Last year, the PUC approved the utility company’s request to increase its water rates.The first round of increases took effect in October 2018 and another round was slated for October 2019.It said the implementation of the increases in a graduated format was an attempt to alleviate the financial burden on consumers.FITUG, in a press release on Tuesday, said it has calculated that unmetered customers will see their monthly rates going up by approximately 200 per cent.“For the ordinary workers and their families, it’s a cost they can ill-afford but a service that cannot do without either,” the Trade Union posited.In granting the approval for an increase last year, the PUC recognised that the proposed monthly consumption charge would initially result in great hardship to the rural areas.As a result, the Commission had determined that there would be a graduated rate for consumers who are currently paying $60.90 per cubic metre.Nonetheless, according to FITUG, the imposition of higher water rates cannot be disconnected from the multitude of hikes in the cost of Government services; the expansion of the range of goods and services that attract VAT, and the withdrawal of useful and helpful public support to our working-people.“The boastful explanations we have seen in recent and previous times about higher tax revenues is a sordid indicator of how much more has been extracted from the Guyanese people,” the Trade Union contended, asserting that “indeed, the cost-of-living has risen tremendously”.Data emanating from the most recently available Bureau of Statistics – Statistical Bulletin indicates that between March, 2016 and September, 2018 that the cost of white rice has risen by 30 per cent, flour went up by 29 per cent, sugar was up by 27 per cent, cooking gas rose by 24 per cent and salt increased by 83 per cent.At the same time, the Bureau’s Guyana Labour Force Survey Report 2018 indicates that the unemployment rate rose from 12.2 per cent at the end of 2017 to 13.8 per cent at the end of 2018. In the same period, youth unemployment rose from 22.9 per cent to 25.6 per cent. The report also disclosed that earnings of workers also declined during the period.“Indeed, when taken together the situation for the Guyanese working-class does not appear to be rosy. Workers and their families are facing undoubtedly real challenges in making ends meet and times, it seems, are getting tougher,” FITUG expressed.Efforts to contact GWI for a comment on the matter proved futile.last_img

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