Powell said he is adding his voice to recent criticism provided by other opposition colleagues who have knocked the government over its announcement on independence day that arrears owed by private consumers of electricity, will be forgiven for any debt still on the books with the St. Kitts Electricity Company, SKELEC. This said Powell is an idea stolen from the opposition and spoken of many times by various speakers on their platform.
He made the point that his party and others that form the joint group called Team Unity, had almost two years ago, announced to the public, as part of their policy and program of social transformation, the intention of forgiving all homeowners for any amount they may have in arrears for electricity prior to the establishment of SKELEC.
Douglas said in his message that, “Many of our people, they have struggled but have fallen behind and suffered the embarrassment of their electricity supply being disconnected. It is therefore with a sense of relief that I announce today, Independence Day, that all arrears for electricity by households that relate to the period prior to the establishment of SKLEC in 2011, would be written off! And would therefore not be collected”
Powell said that over the last two years, the opposition had been advocating for the same electricity debt forgiveness initiative.
“It has been the position of Team Unity on forming a government of National Unity, one of the first things that we would do is to forgive consumers for that debt for which they would have owed to the government prior to the incorporation of SKELEC,” Powell said.
He further claimed that Prime Minister Douglas took the same proposal and delivered it to the people of the federation on Independence morning. “It is on that claim that we say he has no new ideas,” the Central Basseterre Candidate said.
Powell however said that the PM’s move was not really an act of plagiarism, but rather bankruptcy of ideas, “I am saying Douglas has run-out of ideas.”
“In my own estimation it is a situation where the opposition Team Unity has come up with plans for the people of this country; that being one of them, which we have been advocating for two years now,” Powell said.
Powell however said that there are several recordings from various opposition members who spoke on the same initiative.
It is not known how many people fall into the category to benefit from the waiver and the amount to be written off has not been disclosed by government or SKELEC.