Power Subsidies Election-Inspired � Manteaw

The government of Ghana has introduced subsidies on electricity tariffs because elections are just around the corner, Dr Steve Manteaw, Campaign Coordinator for the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), has observed.

His assessment follows the re-introduction of subsidies by the Electricity Company of Ghana to cushion low-level consumers of electricity and to support industrial and commercial consumers of power.

According to the state power distributor, electricity consumers are expected to pay less if their power consumption is between zero and fifty units in a billing cycle.

But Dr Manteaw is not convinced that the subsidies will yield any positive result.

He said: “In times past, government has introduced or announced subsidies only for government to turn around and blame us for the unsustainable debt burden facing ECG and now to levy us 10 per cent to pay for what they call legacy debt. I’m saying that our fear, given the past experience, is that they will announce subsidy today because elections are upcoming only to turn around and tell us that they gave us subsidy and so we have to pay taxes, and I think it is better we review the taxes and leave the subsidies out of the equation.”

“…If you want to really give people relief, the place to tackle is the taxes. Do something about the taxes and we will all get the relief we desire.

“I do not think that subsidy is the way to go. A lot of times, subsidies have been used to deceive consumers but I think this time around consumers should rather demand reduction in their taxes and not subsidy,” Dr Manteaw further explained to Citi FM.