Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 05, 2017 (SKNIS): Senior citizens and single parent led households can expect to see some relief in electricity bills with the implementation of a new initiative in the form of a Life Line Tariff at the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) at the request of the Ministry of Energy.
Pearl Williams, SKELEC’s Acting General Manager, said that her organization was given a mandate to “work on a Life Line Tariff in anticipation of the government rolling out assistance to the persons in communities who are unable to afford their electricity”.
“We have been looking at other Life Line Tariffs or similar programmes across the region where they do exist and we have also obtained some information from our social services,” said the acting general manager, while appearing on this week’s (Wednesday 03) edition of “Working for You”. “We are putting together the Life Line Tariff programme and we are hopeful that sometime, let’s say in the near future, possibly before the start of our financial year – at least before the end of this year that we would be able to roll out the life line tariff as was promised by the minister of energy.”
In January 2017, during a sitting of the National Assembly, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, announced that the “Life Line Tariff” is being considered to benefit the vulnerable groups, as the tariff that now exists is proving challenging for senior citizens and single parent led households.
Minister Liburd added that these particularly groups were ideal for the relief. In the case of retired seniors, fixed incomes usually received through social security benefits or pensions, allow limited flexibility to adjust to increases in the cost of living where applicable. Minister Liburd said that “people in the Federation should not be afraid to grow old” and this measure is likely to be welcomed. As for single parent led households, Minister Liburd identified the primary beneficiaries to be students, who will be able to use the electricity to power modern technological tools used for their education.
Government is expected to strengthen existing social safety net programmes and roll out new economic and social measures to achieve this over the coming months.