Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Watch: It’s time for 'realistic’ water rates, says Imbert

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said it’s time for 'realistic’ water rates, adding that he pays $300 per quarter, which he feels is among the highest rate in the country.

Imbert was speaking at a post-budget meeting last night where he addressed the need to increase water rates:

‘We decided that the time had come…to deal with this whole issue of water rates and electricity rates, because our [utility] rates are the lowest in this hemisphere and very close to being the lowest in the world.

‘I can speak for myself, my water bill is $75 a month, I think I probably have one of the highest water bills in the country, I pay $300 a quarter, I feel I’m right up there, at the top. I have a feeling that that is probably among the highest water rates in the country.’

 

‘It’s time for a realistic price to be paid for water.’

He said the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) had been operating at a subsidised cost of $2 billion per year, and took out a loan for $700 million to clear arrears to Desalcott. 

'The cost of desalinated water is three and four times the cost of the rest of the water. It was never intended that desalinated water would be used for domestic consumption. It was to be used for industries. What we have now is that the water from Desalcott goes into the water supply and costs over $500 million a year.'

During the 2021 budget presentation earlier this month, Imbert said an upcoming review of electricity tariffs was due to be carried out, which would likely result in increased electricity rates. He added that an increase in electricity tariffs is ‘essential’ for development moving forward.

Last month, Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said the public's 'entitled' attitude to electricity usage must change. 

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