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Cost of living concern

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Cost of living concern

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ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – The opposition New National Party (NNP) says it is very disturbed with what it calls the government’s total lack of concern for the effect of rising prices on the population, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
In a statement yesterday, the party’s deputy political leader Gregory Bowen said the prices of food items and energy in particular, have been steadily climbing, exposing the National Democratic Congress (NDC) election campaign propaganda that it was the NNP administration which was responsible for the high prices.
Bowen said the NDC lacks the capacity to coordinate the regional efforts required to bring relief to Grenadians in respect of food and other prices as was done by the NNP led by former Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell in 2007.
“When oil prices escalated in 2005/2006, the New National Party administration moved swiftly to cushion the effect of fuel and LPG prices on consumers by persuading the importers and distributors to share the burden of smoothing the price hikes with government,” Bowen, said.
He pointed out that this mechanism enabled the price of LPG to remain stable and within the reach of ordinary Grenadians unlike today when many families have to revert to firewood while they pay VAT, the proceeds of which are used by this NDC Administration to enjoy extensive and unproductive travel, and to pay their family and friends massive salaries for unproductive or no work at all.
Bowen said vehicle owners, commuters as well as businesses large and small are suffering from the high fuel costs.
“Hotels are making huge losses because of the high costs of electricity since they have to absorb the costs in order to remain competitive and attract guests,” he said.
“Hotel workers are therefore faced with the threat of continued rotation and further loss of jobs while a large number of homes and small businesses remain disconnected.”
The NNP has calls on the government to work with the Grenada Electricity Company and Texaco to reduce the price of electricity and cooking gas as well as to cushion the impact of steep rises on consumers.
Bowen said that the NNP stands ready to assist in reducing the effects of high prices if requested by the government. (CMC)