© BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN
Opposition Leader Jamie Fox
The latest power rate hike is another financial hit to Island taxpayers, says Opposition Leader Jamie Fox.
The rate increase, approved by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission Monday, was a joint application by Maritime Electric and the MacLauchlan government as part of a new rate agreement struck between the utility and the province.
“More and more Islanders and businesses are struggling to get by so it’s hard to understand why the MacLauchlan government thinks that Islanders can absorb another increase that will hit their wallets and further drive up energy costs for Island businesses,” Fox said.
Fox noted the Opposition Progressive Conservative caucus was the only caucus to make a submission to IRAC during its hearings over the rate hike. In that submission, the Opposition made the argument that further rate increases are becoming increasingly difficult to absorb by both consumers and businesses, questioned the business case for the increase, and made suggestions on how IRAC could improve public engagement.
IRAC approved a 2.3 per cent annual rate increase Monday for each of the next three years, amounting to a total 6.9 per cent increase by 2019.
The utility estimates this will be an increase of about $2.60 a month.