April 14th, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Progressive Liberal Party is so pleased that our policy proposals for the next administration have generated interest and enthusiasm.
We are especially pleased that one of the proposals which has caused so much interest, comes from a core PLP value: to bring hope and help to those amongst us who need it most.
Our proposal is simple: “To introduce policies under which the government will cover the cost of electricity to residential customers who limit their monthly use to below specified limits.”
Back in 2012, the PLP promised to lower the cost of electricity. And we have done so: since 2012, electricity costs have been brought down by over 40%! Yes over FORTY PERCENT, which means that people’s bills have been cut almost in half! This is a substantial reduction which has helped a lot of families.
Changes are continually being made to bring about improvements which will continue to result in a lowering of electricity costs. Having brought about those changes, we know that economically, things are still tough for many Bahamians. So based on extensive and detailed research, and along with the measures we are currently undertaking, we are now able to propose this new initiative.
Under the new policy, the next PLP government will cover the cost of electricity to residential customers who limit their monthly use to below specified limits. This means that the use of electricity will be FREE to those customers.
Using current data, we anticipate that this will affect 15%-20% of the lowest income households. These are people who are struggling the most, and need assistance in maintaining even a basic level of electricity supply. Although specific levels will be determined nearer the time of the introduction of the policy, the customers who will benefit currently pay around $50 per person per month, which covers all basic electricity usage.
As well as helping Bahamians, this policy also fulfills another strategic priority, which is to encourage energy conservation. So this policy will help to reduce the cost-of-living and the environmental benefits will help the whole country. Set against the costs which have been projected in the economic model, the net benefit to the country is extremely favourable.
From the research undertaken, we know that those who will be positively impacted under this policy will be able to use electricity at a level which will cover all their basic household necessities.
This will be a government-sponsored programme, and not a BPL initiative. We are already exploring the best ways to implement the policy, for example by using smart cards and prepaid meters.
Melanie Griffin, Minister of Social Services said: “We continue to look for ways to support the neediest among us. This proposal fits perfectly with our RISE Programme, which provides dignified support to those who need help in meeting their essential costs.”
Kenred Dorsett, Minister of Environment and Housing said: “As we state in our Platform, Environmental Sustainability must be one of the key drivers of all our policies. Climate change is real, and by reducing our carbon footprint, we can help to preserve what makes The Bahamas special.”
Philip Brave Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, said: “I am so proud that by taking a strategic approach, the PLP has been able to develop so many proposals to take the country forward, satisfy the goals under the National Development Plan, while also speaking to a core value of our party, to serve the interests of all and not merely the few.”
This proposal is part of the PLP’s vision to keep The Bahamas moving forward, together.
Shamefully, the FNM has not put forward a single plausible proposal to help alleviate the financial burden on the ordinary person. They are only concerned with offering tax breaks and special deals to their rich friends.
The full Progressive Liberal Party Candidates Team looks forward to discussing and debating in public, ALL our policy ideas with ALL those standing in the forthcoming election.