“We will have to lay off workers” – businesses cry amidst proposed increment in electricity, water tariffs
Some businesses fear they will likely fold up due to the increasing cost of doing business in Ghana, and that may start with a layoff of their workers.
Alhaji Sayuti owns a washing bay at East Legon, where he has employed more than 40 workers. He says every month, he spends not less than GHC 4,500 a month and an 8.3% proposed increment effective February 1, 2023 will mean he will be paying GHC 373.5 more, almost hitting GHC 5,000.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) announced a 29.96% increment on electricity tariffs and an 8.3% increase in water tariffs in its 2023 first quarter tariff review decision for natural gas, electricity and water, a move they deem necessary due to exchange rate depreciation and inflation hikes among other factors.
Some business owners in the East Legon enclave however tell MX24 News that if anything, government should consider ways of reducing the burdens of the ordinary Ghanaian and not worsen it.
For the owner of a welding shop at East Legon, Ranks Mwinuba, he may have to lay off some workers in order to make up for the increase in tariffs.
“It is clear that I have to cut down somethings, because I can’t do without power so it means that I may have to let some more workers go,” he told MX24 News
For a Taxi Driver, Kofi [not his real name], increasing bills just after the Christmas festivities when families are already ‘broke’ is not a good idea.
“It’s hard that just after Christmas they want to increase bills again. It will greatly worry us because salary remain the same. Some people work in government and may enjoy increment in salaries but for the most people, it will be very hard,” he said.
The last time an increment was made was in September 2022 when electricity was increased by 27.15% and water 21.55%. The PURC says since the time of the previous increment last year, the key variables that determined the rate setting of tariffs have changed significantly.