Grassroots women cannot afford to pay a 26.7% electricity increase

Dear Editor,

As grassroots mothers, some of us single mothers, we can hardly afford to pay our present electricity bills,  which range from $6,000 to $12,000 on average (with some of us paying much more because of faulty wiring landlords refuse to fix), much less find money we don’t have to pay an increase of 26.7 per cent.

We write not only for ourselves but for all grassroots women, low-waged and unwaged, some of whom are pensioners, security guards, domestic workers, shop assistants, women doing subsistence or very small farming, women doing micro business, and women on public assistance.

Even nurses and teachers and policewomen and public servants. We do not expect the Prime Minister, Mr Brassington and Mr Dindyal to understand how we grassroots women survive. According to reports, Mr Dindyal gets over $4,000,000 per month which is 115 times the minimum wage of $35,000 that will come into effect on July 1st.  He would not be able to last one day if he were to put his feet in our shoes.

So let us tell all three of them how we survive: by catching our hand any way we can, and even with that, month after month, week after week, day after day, having to forego one essential item like food or medication to pay for another, like school books for our children. Or electricity bills.

What more do they want us and our children to forgo? Life?

No. We can’t afford to pay their 26.7 per cent increase.

Why should we pay such an outrageous increase so that the top brass of GPL can continue with their mismanagement and enjoy grossly inflated salaries? We can’t afford to pay.

The 26.7 per cent increase will affect more than the light bills. The price for every item that depends on electricity will increase and those prices will be passed down to us, making our purchasing power even less.

Why should grassroots women and our families always have to suffer for the negligence, inefficiency and greed of those who have money and power?

From Linden in April 2012 to Aishalton yesterday, grassroots women are saying “No!” to those who trample on our rights.

We say – no, Mr Prime Minister. No, Mr Brassington. No, Mr Dindyal. We can’t afford to pay a 26.7 per cent increase!

Yours faithfully,
Joy Marcus
Halima Khan
Joycelyn Bacchus
Vanessa Ross
Red Thread
Norma Adrian
Susan Collymore
Grassroots Women Across Race

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