5 Jan 2005

Tonga concerned by rise in electricity prices

10:44 am on 5 January 2005

There is growing concern in Tonga about the cost of electricity.

"The Crown Prince had written a letter to the Matangi Tonga newspaper, explaining the reasons for the rise, saying the company Shoreline had to raise the costs because of fuel prices."

But the sacked former Cabinet Minister, Clive Edwards, said the Crown Prince's letter refrained from providing "any sensible explanation."

He said that Shoreline's annual profits have exceeded the 500 percent mark in the past decade after the Tonga Power Electric Board approved major increases for the company.

Mr Edwards also revealed that Shoreline's, Soane and Sefo Ramanlal and a colleague, Emeline Tuita, had received over 521 thousand US dollars in annual salaries and perks.