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Check electricity charges!


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Check electricity charges!

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FORMER MINISTER of Housing and Lands Gline Clarke has asked Government to investigate electricity charges and banks’ interest rates.
Clarke, Member of Parliament for St George North, also called for more help for the victims of Tropical Storm Tomas.
Contributing to debate on the Budget on Wednesday night, the Opposition politician complained that against a backdrop of sharply rising electricity charges, the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited had added a $10 “rental” or “customers’ charge” that was unexplained.
This represented an added strain for low-income earners, some of whom were “only living to pay [utility] bills” in the tough economic times, he told parliamentarians.
Clarke also urged Government to “look at what is happening in banks”, complaining that the lending institutions’  interest rates on loans were too high.
“The banks are out there doing things that a progressive Government needs to be involved in,” he said.
Clarke complained that several of the houses damaged by Tomas last October had not been repaired and indicated that partisan politics may have something to do with this. He said that a number of people had been unable to return to their homes “because the minister will not give the approval for those homes to be fixed”.
He painted a gloomy picture of social life in Barbados under this administration, saying there was “suffering across the land”.
Clarke said that several categories were finding it hard to make ends meet, among them shop assistants, vendors, clerical officers and people in the middle class group.
He also charged that the budget offered relief to only “one or two categories of people”.
He suggested the relief should also be in Government’s rental housing sector, where National Housing Corporation (NHC) units should not be exorbitant.
Saying he heard that the NHC?was charging between $600 and $900 for some units, Clarke said this was way above the rates charged by the last administration that demitted office in 2008.
“I want the people of Barbados to pray for this Government,” Clarke added.
 

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