The Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises, GRTU has issued a statement criticising the timing of the increase in LPG (gas) saying that Enemalta should have waited for the reduction of electricity tariffs before proposing these increases.
Director general Vince Farrugia said: “This is an increase that has been long in the air and it reflects the high cost of operations to have a fully functioning bottling plant in Malta. Unfortunately the liberalisation of gas provision have taken too long so consumers are having also to cover the cost of the gross inefficiencies in the local bottling plant.
GRTU has insisted all along with Government that the subsidy which is permissible under EU regulations should not be removed at one go. The statement stated that the consumer cannot support both a high increase in gas and the maintenance of the current high level of electricity tariffs.
It also stated that GRTU has successfully intervened saying that the increase in gas prices is not as hefty as originally indicated but it feels that the timing of the increase is very bad and Enemalta should have first waited for consumers to benefit from reduced of electricity tariffs before introducing these increases.
The GRTU statement is also critical of Malta Resources Authority since they did not insist on an Economic Impact Assessment of these gas increases.
Once again MRA is dominant by its absence, the GRTU stated. GRTU strongly believes, the statement said, that establishments that are heavy users of gas are being additionally penalized at a time when as a result of an economic recession they are having to sustain their present level of employment through vanishing profits.
Mr Farrugia said that once again the timing of an important action is faulty as it does not reflect the current economic situation. Enemalta is a state corporation and the regulator, MRA should be more conscious of what consumers and business users can afford to pay.
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