Categorized | National News

25% BEC Hike Outrage

The Opposition yesterday slammed the Christie administration for secretly allowing the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) to impose a 25 per cent increase in reconnection fees on its customers at a time when most Bahamians are struggling financially.

The Free National Movement (FNM) said the continuing worldwide economic woes and the ongoing impact it is having on The Bahamas’ economy make this a “most inappropriate” time for increases to be levied on poor, struggling, low-income Bahamian families.

“Needless to say, it is the poor, marginalised sector of individuals in our society that are experiencing greatest difficulty paying already high electricity bills. Hence such individuals are most likely to have electricity service disconnected,” the FNM said yesterday in a statement.

The FNM further criticised the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Government for having recently allowed BEC to discontinue paying interest on the $50 million in customer security deposits lodged with BEC.

The Opposition said the effect of the discontinuation in such payments will impose an additional annual burden of around $1.5 million on BEC’s customers, based on a three per cent interest rate.

“Payment of interest on customers’ security deposits was part and parcel of the illogical, ill-advised rate reduction introduced by BEC during Bradley Roberts’ tenure as minister responsible for BEC. Yet Mr. Roberts has had nothing to say about the unravelling of his actions under the present Christie-led PLP Government,” the FNM said yesterday.

“While the PLP promised to reduce BEC customers’ bills by $100 million annually, the actions taken thus far have had a directly opposite effect.”

The FNM said the Ingraham-led government mandated and ensured that BEC held town meetings in New Providence and select Family Islands prior to permitting a five per cent rate increase in an effort to save BEC from the brink of financial disaster.

However, the party said under the PLP an attempt has seemingly been made to keep these increased costs on the public as low profile and secretive as possible.

The FNM is now calling on Prime Minister Perry Christie to instruct his minister responsible for BEC to immediately eliminate these additional costs being imposed on BEC’s customers.

“The FNM further calls on the prime minister to mandate BEC to urgently progress the $100 million in cost savings promised to customers and to provide milestones reflecting monthly savings to customers,” the statement said.

The Journal contacted BEC Chairman Leslie Miller for comment; however, he did not return calls up to press time.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook