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GRTU President Paul Abela has called on the Minister for Finance to reduce electricity prices for SMEs by 30% in the next Budget. Mr Abela made his request directly to the Minister during a business breakfast held earlier this week.
Mr Abela started off by replying to the Minister’s comments during a Budget related public event where it was reported by the media that the Minister
expressed his amazement that the GRTU had not made such representations when the PN was in Government and the prices of electricity were high. The GRTU President assured the Minister that GRTU is not politically affiliated and said that the papers he was waving in his hand were two press releases issued by the GRTU where it had heavily complained with the Government, at the time a nationalist Government, about the high utility prices.
‘This year GRTU’s proposals are targeted at increasing the competitiveness of our enterprises and in this respect the price of electricity is key. Through workings GRTU has carried out it transpires that the international oil prices have on average halved and the price at which Malta is buying electricity through the interconnector is mostly between 4c and 6c. In addition millions were being saved through the efficient operation of the BWSC. With all of these factors combined GRTU estimated that electricity prices need to be reduced by another 30% and in saying this we are being conservative.’ Mr Abela invited the Minister to engage independent auditors to assess how far the prices of electricity could be reduced. He also said that the supplier of electricity is a dominant player and therefore could not choose not to pass savings to its clients. Mr Abela said that the MCCAA should investigate the price mechanism on the basis of competition rules.
In reply the Minister assured GRTU that he had not made such comments about the GRTU and his criticism was targeted at the opposition. He also said that Enemalta was badly in debt and these had to be paid for.
Following the Minister’s reply two other interventions were made from the floor that supported GRTU’s energy claim. One of the interventions was by the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.
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