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View From Afar: Electricity Charges And A Not-So-Hidden Tax

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John Issa

By JOHN ISSA

THE Jamaica Public Service Co, the country’s electricity utility, does not have the most efficient power generating plant. It is majority-owned by foreign investors and is regulated under law by the Office of Utilities Regulation.

There are numerous plans to modernise it and improve the efficiency of its operation in order to make Jamaica’s economy more competitive.

The charges for electricity in Jamaica were running at about 38 US cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) prior to the collapse of oil prices, much the same as they had been in The Bahamas.

There the similarity ended!

Because of the reduction in the price of crude, rates have since come down to about 20 US cents per kwh in Jamaica.

The reduction in The Bahamas has been slight.

For various reasons, the sale and reorganisation of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) has been delayed. This has resulted in the consumers and businesses in The Bahamas paying almost twice as much for their electricity as they should be paying.

I can only describe this as a hidden tax, or better, a not-so-hidden tax.

This is not right. It is not a good situation for the Bahamian economy and people.

I understand that there are local as well as overseas interests who want to invest in and run BEC and reduce the cost of electricity. Each day that a deal is delayed is another day that we pay this hidden tax.

A decision on the future path of BEC is urgently needed.

• John Issa is executive chairman of SuperClubs. He is writing monthly in The Tribune.

Comments

TheMadHatter 4 years, 2 months ago

And the people in the church say "Amen."

If only they would. If only the "church people" would organize a GIANT march down Bay Street - with about 10,000 people (there have got to be more than that many people who go to church in Nassau) - with signs and chants demanding that this FOOLISHNESS be fixed and that it be fixed yesterday.

But instead they stand up in there and say let us sing the hymn #173 "Bringing in the Sheep." Meanwhile, those in power laugh all of the way to bank, saying "Look at all those STUPID sheep, working so hard at their jobs, going without good food and vitamins and proper health care, and without the things that they really need - just so they can pay money to US through their BEC bills and other ways - so that we don't have to go without anything." God bless them.

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TheMadHatter

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duppyVAT 4 years, 2 months ago

Issa needs to tell us how Jamaica went from #1 in the 1960s to # 50 today in the Caribbean

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ohdrap4 4 years, 2 months ago

the govt in jamaica took from the rich to give to the poor. now everyone is poor.

in cuba, fidel took from the rich to give to the poor, now eveyrone is poor.

here, the rich are teking from payroll to give to the poor, the rich reamin rich and those who are not yet poor will soon be.

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shortpants 4 years, 2 months ago

These church slickers ain't doing to bad themselves all for me baby attitude.They suck they they members blind too just so they can live their lavish lives.They don't even check on half off there foul .But we the poor man need to get this march started.Stop all this bullshit talks behind our doors and online and let us hit the streets and shut them down .NOW THIS PISSED ME THE HELL OFF "Look at all those STUPID sheep, working so hard at their jobs, going without good food and vitamins and proper health care, and without the things that they really need - just so they can pay money to US through their BEC bills and other ways - so that we don't have to go without anything." God bless them.Bahamians 2017 is a NO-NO we shall not wait that long .Lets come together as Bahamians and fight for what we need ,deserve,and want ,these bunch of crooks don't give a crap about us only their's.

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TheMadHatter 4 years, 2 months ago

Glad it pissed you off. Try to organize a national strike or something. What can you do? What can any of us do instead of talk? How can we get people to come together?

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duppyVAT 4 years, 2 months ago

Go back to 1958 ................. it started the Quiet Revolution

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