Increase in water rates “another burden” on citizens – FITUG

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Following a decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last year, the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is expected to introduce another increase in its water rates.

However, 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 they 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”.

Efforts to contact GWI for a comment on the matter proved futile.