1 Sep 2006

Fiji Government told it should do more to shield people from electricity price hikes

5:27 pm on 1 September 2006

Fiji's Opposition says the government should have done more to cushion the effects of electricity price hikes on consumers.

Consumers are facing a 30-percent increase in the cost of electricity this month.

The Fiji Electricity Authority obtained Commerce Commission approval for the increase because of mounting losses caused by escalating diesel fuel bills.

The opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says the government should have implemented a series of small increases combined with a reduction in customs duties on fuel imports for electricity generation.

Mr Beddoes says the price hike is just the start.

"This is the beginning of multiple increases because the ripple effect will naturally go to the business houses and they in turn will adjust their costs therefore the prices of consumer goods will start to rise. There's also an announcement of an increase in fuel prices and we expect that that will goup again."

Mr Beddoes says the government should focus more on the economy rather than trying to push through controversial bills.