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PNP opposes NWC's rate increase request

Friday, October 19, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP) has come out strongly against the National Water Commission's (NWC) request to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) for rate increases.

The NWC, on October 2, applied for a review of its current tariff, proposing a 23 per cent and a 38 per cent average increase in revenues for water and sewerage charges, respectively, the OUR reported yesterday.

However, Opposition Shadow Minister on Water and Climate Change, Ian Hayles, today said that the PNP could not support an increase to the NWC when non-revenue water is over 70 per cent, coupled with the fact that there are thousands of leaks and defective meters across the network, which have not been corrected.

“The NWC does not deserve a rate increase before it cleans up its widening non-compliant customer base which has mushroomed to over 100,000 customers,” Hayles charged.

In addition, the PNP shadow minister said that the NWC has maintained a “top heavy management apparatus, which cannot execute its own mandate of providing reliable potable water in an efficient manner to its customer base.”

“The NWC needs to develop and implement systems to collect outstanding arrears from its growing non-compliant customer base,” he said.

He argued that the NWC must take corrective actions on many of its internal systems, including the level of top-heavy management structure, and response mechanism to leaks and systems waste before any increase can be considered, as “the public should not be burdened with the bill for the NWC's inefficiencies”.

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