March 26, 2010

Taxpayers and Consumers could suffer more price hikes

If the illegal and treasonous Charter Chair and PSC Chairman, Josefa Seruilagilagi had his way, he'd happily shaft consumers of his protected industry AND taxpayers with hiked costs of milk and butter even as many in this country still struggle to pick up the pieces after TC Tomas.

Seruilagilagi has been trying to shaft consumers for a while now but the Prices and Incomes Board, and (we hope) the Consumer Council stands in Rewa Dairy's way. 

Here's some thoughts Seruilagilagi: take a loan, reduce your operating costs, whack those cows into producing more domestically so that you stop importing stuff, whatever. But don't lazily assume that consumers and taxpayers will pick up the tab because consumers can always choose to make life harder for you and stick it to you via their purchasing power. Or worse they can stuff up your bottom line and just forego your product.

Meanwhile new residential properties or private sector entities who need water connections can expect to pay more for the service. We are told that that the Government had been subsidising these costs thus far. CORRECTION: The subsidies have been met to a good extent  by taxpayers. 

Once again taxpayers get hit in the back-pocket by an unelected regime.

With all the hype about the merits of a privatised Water Authority headed by Tony Fullman, who is apparently an extremely good mate of Lt Col Roko Ului Mara, we now find that it is much ado about nothing and the entity even has the nerve to be concerned about public complaints being made via the media.

Being a monopoly tasked with the social responsibility to provide clean water to its citizens, the regime is once again found lying in relation to earlier promises that water tariffs would not increase.

According to the announcement above aimed perhaps at sweetening the Water Authority's setup, the regime's own Water Authority Promulgation 2007 apparently does not permit an  increase in residential tariffs.

30 - (5) The obligations of the Authority in relation to supply are -

(a) to only impose charges and price increases in accordance with the Commerce Act 1998;

(b) to provide timely response to reports of defects in its assets affecting the supply to customers or posing risks to life or property; or

(c) to provide as efficient and affordable a service as is possible to as many areas as are possible.

Some relief for market vendors who sell cooked food. Finally the Suva City Council is waking up and trying to prove their worth to rate-payers who expect, want and look forward to these products in the market every weekend. 

Even the illegal and treasonous Bainimarama and his Mrs appear to be most influential consumers in that regard.

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